Last week I watched two full grown geese land on a small pond across from my home. It was quite funny to watch, because the pond was still frozen. The geese gracefully flapped their wings and extended their feet, anticipating the landing, but when they touched down they skidded sideways and plopped down unceremoniously on their bottoms. When they recovered they stomped about, seeming indignant.
When I saw them stomping around on the ice it made me think of those times when I’ve been impatient with God’s timing. It often seems that He isn’t in sync. with my estimation of when things should happen. Give me patience, Lord. Right now!
But His timing is always perfect. When my new novel, One Smooth Stone won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award, I was thrilled that it would soon be in print. Then I discovered that the word, ‘soon’ is relative. There was a delay because the publisher wanted a certain editor to work with me, and she was busy with other projects. Then there was a bit of miscommunication and I was waiting for her while she was waiting for me to get in touch. Then, when it was finally begun, the editing process took time. But finally my publisher told me the books were ready to ship. I waited - impatiently - for them to arrive on my doorstep. The book launch was to be held on the first night of Inscribe’s Fall Conference and, of course, I wanted the books in hand for that event. I was thankful when they arrived, safe and sound, a few days before the scheduled launch.
I remember lifting the first book out of the box. I knew exactly where it was going. I gave it to my friend – I’ll call her Barb.
Barb has had a hard life – her husband left her with four small kids to raise and no resources. The family struggled through. Then one of Barb’s daughters, I’ll call her Lucy, was raped. Though Barb managed to hold on to her faith in Christ, Lucy has been bitter and angry with God ever since. The day after my books arrived, Barb gave that copy to Lucy. A few days later she got a phone call.
Lucy told her that she had had no intention of reading the book – she’d thought, oh yeah, there goes mom with the religious stuff again. But that next day she got the flu and the only thing she had in the house to read was my book. So she picked it up and started to read. She said she couldn’t put it down. When she called her mom she was in tears because she said that after reading the book, she finally believed God does still love her, in spite of everything.
The timing was perfect. God’s timing. Not mine. Next time I get impatient I’ll try and remember how ridiculous those geese looked, stomping around on solid ice.