How Long will you forget me, Lord? Forever? How long will you look the other way when I am in need? How long must I be hiding daily anguish in my heart? How long shall my enemy have the upper hand?
Answer me, O Lord my God; give me light in my darkness lest I die. Don't let my enemies say, "We have conquered him!" Don't let them gloat that I am down.
But I will always trust in you and in your mercy and shall rejoice in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord because he has blessed me so richly. Psalm 13:1-6 (TLB)
April McIntyre lives in England. Last autumn she planted four amaryllis bulbs. Three began to grow almost immediately, developing strong stems and sturdy buds, and April was able to give them to friends as Christmas gifts. The fourth bulb, however, sat in its pot and did nothing. Weeks went by with no sign of growth. April anxiously checked the soil and prodded the bulb. Still nothing. Should I throw it away? April wondered. She decided to wait. Then one-day in mid-January, after all the other amaryllis flowers had bloomed and withered, a green tip appeared on the fourth bulb. After that day, the new shoot seemed to leap upward in its eagerness to grow.
We can't always see what God is doing. Sometimes we don't know whether God's doing anything at all, and that can be difficult. Through the centuries, people of faith have cried out in times of darkness, "How long must we wait for help? Where is God? Has God heard my prayers? Does God care?
The late-blooming amaryllis gives April hope. God does care. God is listening. Although we may not see it, life may be stirring deep down in hidden places. We can fret about our circumstances, or we can cry out to God whose love is unfailing and wait to see that first glimpse of green.
Prayer: Father God, help us to remember that you are always with us, even in our waiting. Help us to be patient, in Jesus' name. Amen.