A Lesson from the Trees

“Don’t be hasty.” – Treebeard, Lord of the Rings

Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. – Psalm 37:7

I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope. – Psalm 130:5

Recently I finished reading The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. To say the least it is an epic tale. I encourage you, reader, to read these novels if you can, because they are supremely good literature and, if your eyes are open, you will see many parallels and encouragements to your faith. Tolkien was a contemporary of C.S. Lewis, and a firm Christian, so his worldview shines through his writings. That aside, God has been teaching me something, and it is summed up in that one line of Treebeard’s.

I was lying in bed one night, thinking about where my life is now and where it may lead. To say the least, I am not doing many exciting things. God is leading me through a season of waiting for a good deal of things. So I was praying and thinking about this, and in my mind I heard this line:

“Don’t be hasty.”

Now, God has been teaching me to wait on Him for a while now, and I haven’t always done it well. The idea is now stuck in my mind, thanks to Treebeard. Every time I pray for what I should do in the coming months and year, this is what I hear, alongside what, if I may, I call a divine wink. I know God has something planned; it’s just a matter of waiting for His perfect timing. This thought it summed up perfectly in this verse:

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD – Psalm 27:14

So often in my life, I find myself so busy that I forget to simply be still and be with God. Up until this point in my life, I always had an assignment, a goal I was striving for. Two years ago it was high school; a year ago it was Ellerslie; three months ago, it was Thailand. Now there is nothing that has been handed me to do. The question is: how will I use this time?

I could (and have, at times) use this time to spiritually stagnate and be a couch potato, wasting time and life on trivial pursuits because I have “nothing better to do”. I could get impatient, take some selfish initiative and write up my own life the way I think it should be. Or, I could use this time God has given me, to do something great; to finish that project I wanted to; to spend many hours in prayer; to study in depth His word; and to draw so near to Him, that when He commands “Go”, I don’t have to shake off the dust. I can wait poorly; or I can wait well.

God sends us through times of waiting to teach us patience and trust. Patience to use the time we have been given today and trust that He does have something planned. Perhaps He is sending you through a time of waiting now for something, whether it’s marriage, school, work, or something else. I challenge you, as I challenge myself, to wait well. Seasons of waiting are God’s doing, not the enemy’s; it is His way of building us up and pruning us to better glorify Him.

Wait on the Lord; and, remember, “Don’t be hasty.”

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