“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Eccl. 3:1a NIV)
The concept of time is difficult when you are retired. Or so I am told. But add to that the cognitive decline I struggle with, and suddenly time means nothing at all. This, coupled with my poor memory, results in me often asking my wife the same question over again: “When do I ___________?”
Take therapeutic riding, for example. Although my wife and kids had ridden horses for years — and incidentally had stopped riding a few years ago — I had never had even the slightest desire to ride a horse. It seemed … dangerous, uncomfortable, impossible for someone with my visual handicap. But one positive thing about the declining cognition is that I seem to be forgetting the things that I was once afraid of. As a result, all the things I refused to do for all those years, I suddenly have a longing desire to do! And horseback riding was one of those things.
When I started talking about wanting to go horseback riding, my wife just assumed I wanted to go for a trail ride, and she proceeded to search out a place where I could do that. But that wasn’t what I wanted at all. I wanted to learn how to ride. The stable where my family had ridden for years had become a therapeutic riding program, and my wife knows the instructor very well. That’s where I wanted to ride!
It took me awhile to communicate this to my wife, but once she understood, she set the ball in motion by contacting the instructor, checking out the website, etc. We were in luck. The fall riding program hadn’t yet begun. Unfortunately I needed to have a medical filled out by my family doctor before I could begin, and my wife immediately called the office, printed the form and drove it down. We were told it could take up to a week.
With my difficulties process time concepts, however, a week meant nothing to me. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t able to start my lessons! Every day, at least once a day, I would ask my wife if this was the day I would be able to ride, and every time she would patiently — or at least mostly patiently! — explain that we were waiting for my medical forms. I would then complain about how long it was taking, and wasn’t there something wrong? And she would explain that it could take up to a week, etc.
Finally we had the papers in hand and my wife set to work submitting them. As I watched her, I couldn’t help getting excited. Surely this meant we would be driving down to the farm that same day! I had my medical papers now, after all!
Again I was in for disappointment. Now we had to wait for the application to be approved. Would this process never end?
In reality, it only took a day for the instructor to get back to us. And when she did, I was sure I could go put on my boots and get in the car! Finally!
Once again I was in for disappointment. The sessions wouldn’t begin until the following week! I was pretty sure by then that I would never find myself on a horse.
But it wasn’t true. Sure enough, one week later, I had my first riding lesson.
This all makes me think of how we interact with God when we are waiting for something that we have asked Him for. We get impatient. We demand to know why He is stalling. We accuse Him of not listening. We even go so far as to doubt He loves us. Meanwhile, just like the medical forms and the formal application and the formal start to the riding program, there are things that often have to happen before God’s miracles can come to be. That’s why Eccl. 3:11a tells us, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (NIV). Everything has a time: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…” (Eccl. 3:1a NIV), and nothing can fall outside of its time. And it is only when things happen in their own time that they can be beautiful (See Eccl. 3:11a)!
In the end, I was able to start riding in the first week of the fall riding session. Even if the doctor’s forms had come in earlier, it would have changed nothing because the sessions simply didn’t even begin until the week I was able to begin riding.
The next time you are waiting for on a miracle of God, remember that there is a time and a season for everything, and those things are only made beautiful when they happen in their own time. We are not privy to the per-requisites that must happen before our miracles can be manifested, but we can believe that God will bring it to be — in just the right time!
And I am reminding myself about this as well, as I impatiently await the manifestation of God’s promise to heal my cognition…
In His love,
Director, Answers2Prayer Ministries