We are here at our vacation spot in a little town in Maine called Damariscotta. The one thing you can depend on here is that you cannot depend on the weather. We left Florida at six o’clock in the morning and it was already oppressively hot. We were sweating at 4:30am just from spending 10 minutes outside loading our bags in the car. We arrived in Portland about 11:00 am and were immediately taken by the lack of humidity as we stepped onto the jetbridge. After collecting our luggage we all gloried in the fresh Maine air as we left the terminal. It was like that for the rest of the first day but even as we sat watching the lake we could see the waves blowing in from the east indicating that rain was on it’s way. Rain in Maine is very different than rain in Florida. The thunderstorms that roll out as quickly as they roll in to take the edge off of the tropical heat of the day are not common in this northern part of the country. When rain comes it comes to stay, sometimes for days on end.
Such was the case with the rain that blew in that first evening in the cottage. With it came the damp chill in the air that mocked me me as I unpacked. It’s hard to conjure up the memory of this weather when you are packing in 90 degrees. So everything in my suitcases was light and sleeveless for the most part. The cottage is not winterized so it is difficult to get it warm. Thankfully there are lots of blankets and tea. The rain continued on and off for three days straight but when it wasn’t actually raining it was too cold and wet to be outdoors. For someone that doesn’t get to enjoy sunshine for 90 percent of the year this could be disheartening but we made the most of it playing games, reading and watching old movies that we’ve seen a thousand times. It also helped to know that we still had two full weeks ahead of us.
But last night as we drove home from my sister’s cottage after a lively game of taboo that made us laugh until we cried we could see the stars out and Danny encouraged all of us that the sun would be out in the morning. We went to bed hopeful.
At 6:30am this morning I was awakened by a stream of sunlight finding it’s way through the gap in the closed curtains. The rain was gone. The day was bright. I got out of bed (after sleeping for a few more hours) and did what I had been waiting to do since I got here. I made a cup of tea and sat out on the dock taking in the scenery. The lake looked like a completely different place from the past few days. It was transformed into the beautiful lush peaceful haven I know it to be. Gone was the dark overcast, moody, dreary atmosphere of the past seventy two hours; here was a day of full of sunshine and promise.
I was reminded of something I heard a long time ago that stuck with me.
“Sometimes God takes a long time to move suddenly!”
So true! I have been been in those seasons of my life many times where I felt like I was “frozen in a winter of discontent” (lyrics of a song). Where I knew there was a promise waiting to be fulfilled but it was just taking SO long. So long that I began to doubt if I would ever see the sun shine again. I knew that God promised that if I waited on him he would renew my strength. (Isaiah 40:31) But I felt so weak. I knew that the plans He had for me were to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a future and a hope. (Jer. 29.11) But I couldn’t see how things could possibly work out from where I was standing. I remember feeling like I should be doing something. When all He wanted me to do was wait. Wait and seek Him. That even though I could not see it He was working behind the scenes on my behalf waiting for the right moment to move.
One of those times in particular was when Danny and I were hoping and praying and believing for the opportunity for Danny to become a Chick-fil-A Operator. We had been in the process for several years already waiting for an opportunity in our area to come open. We had interviewed and were waiting for word. I’ll never forget the day they called and said that all the changes in the area had been made and they would not be offering him a store at that point. They did not know when another opportunity in the area would become available. Pretty much – don’t call us we’ll call you. It was not what we had expected to hear. We had even moved, downsizing, during the interviewing process in order to position ourselves better financially. And now all we could do was wait. We were devastated. I remember when Danny told me I was leaning up against the bedroom wall and I just sort of slid down and sat on the floor for a while (and cried.) I was so sure that we were moving in the right direction. Could it have been that we had “heard” God wrong. We could still hope and wait but there was no guarantee that the call would ever come. I got a card from a sweet friend of mine right afterward that said, “I know what they told you but I still believe and I’m standing with you.” Hope. That’s all we could do is wait, hope and believe. And then as quickly as the sun came out this morning, a LONG year later, they called. Completely out of the blue. Chick-fil-A called – some changes were taking place….were we still interested?
It took a long time but then He moved – suddenly!
If you are in that season today where it is dark and overcast and you can’t see how things could possibly change be encouraged today that He is for you and not against you. That even as you wait He is renewing your strength. Whether you feel it or not. Cuddle up and remind yourself of His promises. Rest as much as you can. Be still and know that He is God and He’s got you covered. Before you know it and probably when you least expect it the sun will come out.
Wait and hope for and expect the Lord; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.