Toward the end of 2011 I placed my poinsettia from Christmas 2010 in the dark basement for fourteen hours every day for ten weeks. I thought it was supposed to produce red petals again at the end of that process. It was as green when I stopped taking it to the cellar as it was when I started, and from January to March it even seemed to have lost its will to live. Then in April tiny new red growth began to appear! I was so glad I hadn't relegated it to the compost heap.
Living things need time to develop and mature. No matter how often Mr. Whiskers and I check on the plants we have growing, it's not possible to hustle them along. Isaiah 61:3 speaks of God's people as "the planting of the Lord", and He is amazingly patient with us.
I remember a term when two junior grade boys in our library club just could not get along. Gloom settled over the whole group when those two were being miserable to each other. I was tempted to ask them to stop coming...until it occurred to me that it is a good thing God doesn't do that when His children can't get along. How gracious He is giving us time to master each thing He wants us to learn before setting the next lesson before us. The seeds we've planted need time to grow, and the precious seed, God's Word, which He has planted in our hearts also needs time to produce good fruit. Thank you, Father, that You are willing to wait as stalks of patience sprout in my heart.