Waiting for the Ripe Time

 

 

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Too Good to wait?

I’d be lying if I said that I love to wait… But sometimes it’s necessary if you want what’s good. Have you ever tasted something prematurely, like a fruit that wasn’t quite ripe enough yet? Some fruit, we are very familiar with. Sometimes we are so familiar, we have an expectation for it to be good before it really is. It is appealing to the eye because we already know it is pleasing to the palate, and it’s there to be eaten right? To us, what is good is usually the thing we already know we like. However, what we like is not always good for us and likewise, what is good for us, is not always what we like.

Timing can make a world of difference.  God knows that often something that we assume could or should be good, we quickly discover is not so good because our timing is off. In the first verse of chapter three in the book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon, in all his wisdom said….

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”

The Uncommonly Good Fruit

long-suf·fer·ing
ˈlôNG ˈˌsəf(ə)riNG/
adjective
  1. having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people.

In our society today… patience is almost considered a bad word and waiting is not our favorite option on life’s menu. As we become more and more acclimated to the ability to “click here” for instant gratification, our appetite for only what is available in the here and now is increasing by the minute. Basically, the opportunity to learn and teach how to be patient, along with the ability to recognize the benefit of suffering through waiting, is slim to none.

Patience, a.k.a. longsuffering, is not one of my all-time favorite attributes but it is one that I am grateful for. To reiterate what I have heard many say in regards to relationships; patience is key because nothing worth having comes quickly or easily. In other words, all things good should be good enough to wait for. The one who knows this best and also shows it best, is none other than God. He reminds us with our first hand account of how patient he is and always has been with us everyday.

2 Peter 3:9

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.

How long? God only knows….

The question has rolled off my tongue on more than one occasion… “How long must I wait?”

What I often get in response from those much older and wiser than me is “God only knows….” He knows what I must endure and go through.  He knows how much time it will take for x, y and z to be accomplished and in the right order. He knows even how long it will be before I “get it”, meaning it has even taken quite some time for me to get to the point of coming to Him to ask the very question that only He has the answer to.

The point I am trying to make is He knows. So if you’re wondering what the next thought on love is… I will not make you suffer and longer….

Thought #4 of 101:

Love, true love and all the good fruit to come with it takes its time.

So while you wait, remember…. if you’re wondering how long you must continue to suffer… you should patiently seek the answer from the only one who knows when the ripe time will be.

 

A Super Love Secret

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Ok Batman…. are you ready? Do know what’s coming? Are your spidey senses tingling? Do you have the power to see beyond what you see? When it comes to my undercover search for love, I know I wish I did.

Some time ago, me and my teenage son were having, what I thought to be, a trivial DC vs. Marvel conversation when an interesting question came up. The question was: what makes a super hero “super”? In other words… what are the specific characteristics that stand out in one that goes above and beyond that makes them “SUPER”?

A hero, by definition is anyone that saved a life in the natural sense… but to be a superhero there has to be something about their ability to save a life that takes them to a higher level, to something supernatural.

Will the real “SUPER” stand up?

“Superman vs Batman” and the like, is a topic frequently discussed amongst brothers in my house and it can make anyone question the real existence of not so common sense. Realistically speaking though…we all long to catch a glimpse of a hero in action and some of us have a secret desire to be one, but we all have our own image of what one looks like and it doesn’t always line up with what we see out there on a day-to-day basis and especially not with what we see looking back at us in the mirror. Therefore any call to action leaves us searching for Clark Kent or Bruce Wayne at best… which is a waste of time, and with lives to be saved hanging in the balance…there is no time to waste!

My son clarified it for me. Per our discussion, the difference between Superman and Batman is that Superman is not of this world and Batman is. Therefore Superman is more “Super” because the characteristics that equip him to save lives are also not of this world. Batman’s life saving abilities stem from his gadgets, in other words he is a self-made “super”, which is not the same.

In my amazement, as I prepared to face my morning challenge of waking my son up for another super day of ninth grade… I got an epiphany about my daily quest to experience a love that is heavenly and relationships that go above and beyond… what I need to start my day off with, for my benefit and his, is no ordinary fruit. I need the fruit of the spirit!

Super fruit for super love!

 

Wondering what super fruit or fruit of the spirit will be the best for a love that is out of this world? I can guarantee it’s definitely not what you’re expecting or looking for. It’s kind of like a secret weapon.

Galatians 5: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness and temperance…..

It’s no secret that a super hero will have qualities that are both disguised and uncommonly good. When I think of a superhero or a super love that will save my day, suffering is the last thing that I am hoping to find. However, a true love, just like a true “super” would have the ability to withstand the worst conditions and circumstances… even the conditions that put you in harm’s way or worse, in the face of eminent death.

We’ll take a closer look at this Superfruit but for now the food for this morning thought on love is.

Thought #3 of 101:

A super true love is uncommonly good

Are You Finished?

Completely in Love

Morning tea

Maybe you’re not quite finished, but according to Jesus, It is finished.

Thought #2 of 101: True love is complete

“Love covers a multitude of sins”… is what I had on my mind for the longest time.

“Are you sure?” I asked.” You must not have seen it all yet God.” As if He didn’t know who or what He was working with.  It took a while for me to absorb the truth. I just couldn’t see it or grasp it. The idea that all that I did or was in the past being completely finished seemed like it should require so much more. Especially since I still felt quite undone.

Well, if this sounds familiar to you and one of the main thoughts that will often travel across your mind is… “a love that is complete…is something I will probably never see for myself,” then I’d like to clarify something for you, just in case you’re feeling undone about finding love or you are done and lost in your search for it…

God’s love is unlike anything you have seen before and like nothing you’ll ever experience anywhere else. If you are searching for something familiar then you’ll be searching forever. It is unique because it existed without and before you, but was and is always there for you. To further explain: God wanted you and me, before we ever wanted him or anything really. He gave his life so we could be set free, while we continued to reject him. There is nothing more final than His death or more astounding than His resurrection.

God did both so that we could move on and continue on. He died to rid us of what He never wanted us to have, our sin and He rose from the dead, so that we could receive everything He always had for us. Through these two acts, I have been presented with gift of love that withstands all of the hurt and rejection and a hope for love that goes beyond the grave.

His love is so complete that he thought enough of you and me to know we would question just how much he completely wants us… even after He paid the ultimate price.

Have you gained the understanding yet that His love goes above and beyond any and everything. So… even in times when I have doubt in His love because I am uncertain of myself, my ability, my strength, my wisdom, my future….. My hope and faith rests in His word. It says, I can look forward to the end of every day and every tomorrow….

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” 

Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

The point I am getting to at the end of this night is …. He leaves nothing He loves undone. He finishes everything He starts. He has enough love for His work and creation to keep working until all the “heart” work is done.

So… I am complete in love, with Him.

photo of bookpages folded into heart shape with bokeh light background
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Love Under Cover

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I’m sorry, I know there’s been a lull in the conversation but I haven’t been lying down on the job. I just had to put a few things to rest. After some reflection of my past confessions over morning fruit; alongside tabletop topics about all that’s on my plate while in sup with the king; with present company, I think it only natural to progress to pillow talk over tea.

“You made your bed, now lie in it.”

I have said it before. It’s a phrase I kind of used to live by (if you could call it living). The phrase emphasizes that you and I are stuck with having to deal with our own poor choices. When speaking to myself, crying over spilled milk as I ate my humble pie… I would say “You’ve been served exactly what you’ve been cooking” meaning whatever I got was a result of exactly what I put into it. Which, unfortunately for me, didn’t turn out to be very much or very good, on more than one occasion. This left me somewhat bitter, mostly at myself. The end result was a sour outlook on past, present and future love for myself. As for the love I had for others… let’s just say it was nothing more than uhhh…tense. (Pun intended)

As I think about tomorrow… gratefully looking forward to a restful night of sleep,  I can’t help but recall how I used to spend night after night rest-less because the only thing I could think of was everything I didn’t have. I was stressed to the max over lack. What I was missing was the covering of God, but instead of seeking cover… like the song by Johnny Lee says, I was  “Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places”  thinking I could find what I needed elsewhere. It’s expected and some might say it’s even wise for us to search for what’s missing. I mean how else would we expect to get it. But where love is concerned, focusing on what you don’t have can prevent you from receiving what’s already there.

God reminded me that being in relationship with Him means I can be rest assured about one thing when my head hits the pillow: as long as I am with Him… I can count on being covered. This differs from what I have been accustomed to. What I am talking about is more than what is happening between my sheets… of paper… because what is already written about the subject opens up a new chapter.

The Covering Concept

1 Peter 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

His love covers everything? In my immature understanding, my first thought is of all the unsightly areas that I would be relieved to have covered and kept from the rest of the world. However, God sees it all, whether or not we are trying to be revealing and what’s there is not as much good as bad and ugly, which made me think (and perhaps you too), how can He still love us. It is His covering that makes the muck and mire, already seen, still worth dying for.

So I’m going under cover in this search for love for myself, in hopes to get a closer look at what’s been there all along.  If you don’t get where I am coming from you may need to go back to where I’ve been and where you got your first glance of me or revisit the fruit of my first love, where I got nothing but nuts. Being completely covered is a new concept of love for me… so under cover is where my investigation must start.

Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

 

 

Going Bananas for Love

A True Love Appeal

two green and yellow bananas plastic figures
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It feels like forever…. 

Dear God,

Please let me know… “When will it be time to grow?” Your word says…

1 Corinthians: 3. 7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

So… how long must I wait to grow fruitful in love?

Waiting on your plus one?

Waiting for the love of your life to arrive can sometimes make anyone feel like they are going bananas! As prayers remain unanswered and the period of silence begins to feel like a life sentence of waiting, one can start to question in doubt. Especially if the wants and needs lists gets ever longer the more time marches on … This has led me (and maybe you too) to ponder the question …

“Am I asking too much?”

When others come to me for advice because they are struggling with doubt that God is going to move their mountain, I’m always in 100% belief that God is going to respond to their need. When they’re discouraged because they’ve been patiently pursuing to no avail, I remind them to just keep praying.  “Ask and you shall receive!” I am quick to tell THEM. When it comes to my own unanswered questions though… I am quick to question myself more than Him. I tell myself “In God’s time, the answer will come.” However… I tend to wonder if there is a possibility that the love I am seeking is too appealing for me to ever receive.

“What am I waiting for?”

Let me explain to avoid confusion. What leads me to ask this is my experience thus far. I am made ever aware that God sees, hears and knows all. He also attends to every detail. He knows every need… and most important of all… He knows what he is doing. On more than one ocassion, the thought of whether it’s worth the wait has crossed my mind mostly because, as I ask for him to shine his light on my issue… I seem to be reaching for the tissues due to being prone to being examined more closely. As I appeal for a love that is deep and relationships that do more than skim the surface… He begins to peel back the layers in my own heart and life. Maybe the love He plans to give me is a little more uh… peeling than I bargained far. I’m feeling a little too exposed.

So… to end the suspense… my true love appeal seems to be turning into a true look at what’s already written on the walls of my own heart. With each step further in my journey to find a love for my own self, the real in this reveal is, I am no authority on the subject – We need to take a closer look at what’s already written on the subject of love by the one who pens the pages to prepare for what’s coming. It might take you a second or three but when you’re ready… come hungry….

I have a feeling God’s already got the meals ahead planned.

 

Second Guessing the Guests

white tableware
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When is it too early to talk about betrayal? Do we have to wait until after supper?

Still open? Trust that I am not trying to close the door on any extended invitations but we have been on a getting to know one another basis for almost two months now and I am not one to wait until all the guests have had their fill to bring out what’s best for all at the table. So, let me just say; I keep trying to put this behind me but from where I am sitting betrayal is not a thing of the past.

The question of the day; when I know I have let go of what I lost and I have put the circumstantial evidence of how it was lost in its place (the past) why does the betrayal remain? Is the one who betrayed me still seated at the table or worse… on the throne of my heart?

Break it down…Who betrayed who?

what true to your heart1

“I know it was you, Fredo. You broke my heart. You broke my heart” as Michael Corleone plainly put it in the movie “The Godfather”….

….It was not God, The Father

We all want love that is true, right? The first step to discovering the truth about love is to reveal who the liar is. When dealing with betrayal the concern most of us immediately address in our mind is “who done it.”

When someone has done me wrong I want to pin point where the fault lies so I can put more than my finger on them. (cough-cough) When I discover who did the dirty deed, with an extended index finger I bring it to my attention to make sure I don’t forget. However, when pointing out the fault of another, there are three other fingers pointing right back at me.

Know this…

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; Who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9

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As a result, I feel exposed, busted and disgusted with the thought that the real culprit is me. The questions that follow go something like this. “How could I be so naive? Where did I go wrong?” and finally, “What did I do to deserve this?”  The last question made the list by popular demand.

When wanting to learn more about love, questions are good, but the most important question of them all  (I’ve had to ask myself) “Who are you asking?” When inquiring within… who am I expecting to get the answer from… me or Him?

Let me just put it all out on the table.

True story… if you’ve already had the misfortune of experiencing betrayal, like I have… it’s near impossible to reverse it. Whether you were betrayed by yourself or by another, it will be constantly in the rear view. Anytime you reflect, it’s right there to skew your view of love for yourself, others and God in the future. So how do we see past it? We have to remember two things: Who prepared the table we sit at and where they are seated.

Jeremiah 17:10 “I the Lord search the heart…”

Knowing someone is capable of betrayal is inescapable, each and every one of us is. Our own hearts tell us we can never trust ourselves again, much less anyone else. It’s a lie meant to decieve us into believing there is no hope. What I am trying to get the answer to is….how do we protect ourselves from the enemy that lies… if already inside the gates? Here is the whole truth…

Jeremiah 17:10  I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know…

Getting back to the bread about to be broken… God knows what is about to be served. If we are able to recognize that we need to feast on what he has for us alone… He can handle everything else,  liars and thieves will get their just dessert!

Just trust who is on the throne of your heart. Jesus, the chosen gatekeeper, is seated at the table with us… right in the place we have given Him. He knows us and our guests better than anyone. No need to worry. If you have invited Him… there is no second guessing!

 

Abridged or Unabridged?

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How we get where we’re going…

Which version would you like? The truth or the lie? How many factors are required to make the decision? Does it depend on the book, the subject interest or lack there of… the author?

What if it was the book of love?

Or Life…???

In a fiction world, I’m an unabridged type of girl. I want to soak in all the sordid details. But when reality sets in… I admit that there are days, seasons, spans of time and definitely subjects where I just want to cut to the chase and skip to the final chapter already. However, the true story about finding love in life that lasts is… there are no short cuts.

Bridging the Gap… crossing state lines!

As I sit and get consumed in my mid-day lunch hour, I begin to digest the issue on my plate. Staying engaged in my love story is always hardest when I feel like I am on a bridge over troubled water to nowhere. Going from point A to B is not hard, (map please)… it’s connecting each D-O-T and making sense of where I am, in relation to where God says I will be in the end, that I struggle with. The inner child of God in me is whining from the back seat, in agony with stomping feet… crying out “Are we there yet?!” Then suddenly…

 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 

1 Corinthians 13:4

Turning the page, I’m on the other side “you’re not in the same place you used to be…” says He. I suddenly see… there was more than just water under that bridge. I used to get myself in deep trouble being in such a hurry. Let’s just say… lesson learned… gates exist for a reason. Me being eager to get somewhere… avoiding the gate and crossing the bridge at the unappointed time caused me to wind up on board whatever vessel happened to be passing through. Can you say detour to the deep end of the emotional ocean? Now… patience is a virtue that this “virtuous woman” hopeful is definitely working on.

Skipping to the final chapter…

Perhaps the problem has always been that I’m still a prepper at heart. Sometimes I can think so far ahead that I completely miss the fact that in traveling the distance over the bridge, I cross over into a different state.

Don’t burn that bridge!

Occasionally, I have to look back at the road I’ve traveled to remind myself how far I have come. That’s why the bridge is there. It’s not there for you to go back… it’s meant to give evidence that you’re in a new place and there is something that separates where you are now from where you once were.

In the end… we all want to know what’s coming but focusing only on the destination means you can miss out on all the details. Sometimes, the very chapter we are stuck in, is where the plot thickens and the truth and beauty of all there is to love is revealed.

My revelation… in the story of my life, I know… the truth about love is not written by me. 

If I stop and plan to jump in the middle of the bridge, the chance of surviving the fall are slim to none. I must wait and trust the author, for He has the final word.

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This is just a taste of the love that makes up… His-story.