Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.    – Romans 12: 12-13

One of the things I love about living in the South is the crepe myrtle trees.  They are flowering trees with slender, graceful trunks, deep green foliage, and the most beautiful and profuse blooms of any flowering tree I’ve seen.  When crepe myrtles are in full bloom, the blooms cover most of the foliage!  You look at them and all you see is vibrant color!  Even better is that they have a long blooming season, so we can enjoy them all summer.

To my dismay, this hasn’t been a good year for crepe myrtles.  I think it’s because we’ve had such a rainy, cool summer.  Crepe myrtles seem to do best in hot, sunny weather.  Consequently, many trees didn’t start blooming until July and their blooms were sparse.  It was disappointing for those of us who anxiously wait to see them each year.

Often I remarked that the crepe myrtle trees just aren’t as pretty this summer, attributed their lackluster performance to the weather, and hoped next year they’d be back to their usual, beautiful selves.  However, this morning I looked out at the crepe myrtles in our yard and realized I gave up on them too quickly!  It’s now August, when crepe myrtles would usually start winding down, and they’re reaching full bloom!  There is nothing wrong with the crepe myrtles this year.  They’re just late bloomers!

Wow.  I’d given up on this trees this year.  When they weren’t full bloom by early July I assumed this wouldn’t be a good year for them.  This makes me wonder how many other things I’ve given up on too quickly.  Have there been situations that didn’t progress the way I thought they should, so I assumed they wouldn’t work out and gave up?  What about people?  Have their been times when people didn’t perform as I expected, failed to meet my initial expectations, or were slow to respond, causing me to give up on them?

If so, who am I to think that things should respond according to my timing?  Isn’t life as a Christian about THY timing?  Is this world about meeting my expectations or THY expectations?

Outcomes aren’t in my hands, they’re in God’s hands!  It’s all about HIS plans and purposes, not mine.  Who am I to give up on His plans?!

In Christ we’re to have hope for the future.  Through Christ we’re to seek perseverance.  With Christ we’re to remain prayerful and hopeful in all things, trusting God and not giving up.

On my desk sits a card given to me by the mother of a friend who lost her battle with cancer, but won the battle to be with our Lord.  On the card is the picture of an angel and this verse from Romans 12: 12-13  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.    

Dear God, Please forgive me for the times I’ve given up too easily on people and situations that were late bloomers.  I was a late bloomer and you didn’t give up on me!  Thank You for that.  Please help me remain hopeful and not give in to discouragement.  Instead, I need to be patient and prayerful, trusting You with the outcomes, and allow You too accomplish YOUR will instead of giving in to mine.    May it all be for your glory.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen. 

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