I had no idea at 23 how true those words were.
As I read my Bible today, I found this verse highlighted from three years ago this very day: 1 Peter 5:6-7 "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He care for you."
It's always easier to see that "in due time" is the perfect time after we've come through the waiting time.
None of us likes to wait.
Romans 5:3 tells us "We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance."
But we don't want endurance. Endurance takes too much time to develop. We look at the things holding us back from our perceived prize and become Veruca Salt from Willy Wonka declaring "I want it NOW!!"
The problem with insisting on our own way, with trying to manipulate our circumstances to bring about our desires, is that it ends badly, as little Veruca discovered.
Thank goodness for the next verses, Romans 5:4-5, which show us what happens when we stay the course.
"And endurance produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love."
"And this hope will not lead to disappointment."
Let that sink in a moment. If we hang on...if we are patient...if we wait for the "due time"...we will not be disappointed.
When I highlighted that verse three years ago I was newly divorced. There were many cares to cast on God. Finances, relationships, family heath concerns. Each passing year brought more difficulties to slog through. It was a deep, wide, valley of cares.
As time went on, I moved toward the mountain, but often its sheer size was all I could see in front of me.
I felt the sharp stones on the path under my feet.
I scraped my hands on unyielding rock.
Yet when I thought I could not hold on another second, I would look up and see the Father's hand reaching down. He beckoned me not to cling to the rock, but to Him. And He would show me in so many ways that He was still there, waiting with me.
In this life we will have trouble. It will never go away.
But like the psalmist, I am also confident that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
I am seeing it even now, even today.
God's due time has come to pass in the last few months.
For this chapter of my life anyway. I'm sure there's more enduring and character building to come.
In my last blog post of 2013, on the eve of this new year, I said I was trusting Him for a place to live and a ministry with eternal impact.
He has granted both and more.
In June, He provided a beautiful place to live.
He brought my vision of donating fresh vegetables to the food bank through a church garden to fruition.
He has provided me a new job that I'll begin next week. More than just a job, it is a the chance to make my passion for reaching out to the community with the love of Christ in tangible ways into my profession as I enter full time ministry service.
And He has given me the assurance that the ministry He used me to build over the past four years, CommunityConnections, will now be led by someone who loves its vision and purpose as much as I do.
In due time, He brought all this about. None of it came quickly. There was a lot of endurance and character building in the process. But in looking back, it is obvious that it is the perfect time. Three years ago, I was not ready to take on what has transpired this year. The good OR the bad. I needed the time for God to stretch, and teach, and grow me.
But from the top of this current mountain, the view is spectacular, and breathtaking, and very much worth the wait.
How has God had you wait this year? I would love to hear how He has brought you through it.
And if you're still waiting, how has He shown that He is there with you in the wait?