In my drafts bucket I have a whole bunch of half-begun and mostly unfinished drafts of letters and blog entries I intended to send or post. Many never get finished. I either don’t have time or I don’t have enough of the “rest of the story” in my head to complete the work. Usually, it’s the former, not the latter.
So, time takes time. I’ve said this to myself, to my children, to other women… I’ve thought this many, many times. I’ve usually thought this as a self-reminder when a situation seems to be unchanging or a problem seem to linger: give it time. We all know that things take time — wounds take time to heal, friendships take time to bloom, paint takes time to dry. But we’re impatient, aren’t we!?! We want what we want: now. We weary of waiting. We need answers. We must have resolution. We can’t wait another day… and on and on.
I recall saying many times: time heals all wounds (in my head I add, for personal entertainment: time wounds all heels). But then I mentally slap myself for retaliatory indulgence and determine not to think that thought again — for I sincerely do not wish to inflict injury on anyone – but can’t resist the play on words. And though I still believe that time heals all wounds, I think I’d better clarify that it’s not the passage of time that heals wounds — it’s what goes on in the passage of time that heals wounds. The Word and work of God heals wounds — and it seems He uses many things to do so. Faith heals wounds. A different perspective over time heals wounds. Repentance (ours or theirs) heals wounds. Humility heals wounds. Forgiveness (again, ours or theirs) heals wounds.
But it takes time. Things take time. Time takes time.
In the fall, we plant garlic. Preparing the soil takes time. Marking the rows takes time. Planting takes time. All through the winter, the ground looks barren. Nothing’s happening — or so it seems. In the spring, the little sprouts appear and by early summer the garlic looks mature enough to harvest. But it’s not. Not yet. It needs a little more time. Even after it’s harvested, we hang it up to dry… still more time passes. Time… takes time.
A couple of years ago I pruned, dug up, divided and replanted a very large hydrangea. It looked pitiful. Last year it, and the divided plants, looked pitiful, still, with its sparsely leafed, woody canes and no flowers at all. This year it’s filling out nicely — but still, no flowers. And it may well be that there’ll not be a single flower on the whole bush again this year. But it’s nicely shaped and its leaves are strong and full. Time. It just needs more time.
Life breaks and falls apart. Sometimes it’s relationships, sometimes things. When things in our lives break we learn to pick up the pieces, bond them together and patch the cracks. In time, we carefully begin to use the vessel again — this time, more patiently, more carefully — knowing from experience that the vessel is precious and the cracks have added much value to its worth.
Sometimes in life we get to experience the humbling reality with keen awareness that the broken thing was repaired not discarded. The Lord’s work, in time, healing all wounds.
So, in the passage of time — whether in the garden or in my home or in my heart — I’m learning that I must often stand still and let some time pass. I must stand still and see the salvation of the Lord in that circumstance. But in that standing still, I’m not just standing still. I’m waiting. I’m watching. I’m trusting. I’m yielding. I’m obeying. And, though it might look like nothing’s happening outwardly — the work that’s being done inwardly is priceless: I’m leaning on the Lord and He is working in me by His grace, the gift of patience and hope.
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work,
that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
My-o-my, I’m learning these things… and they’ve been so worth the learning! I’m learning to redeem the time! Time takes time… and it’s priceless.