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Last night, I walked around my new raised bed garden, inspecting the soil for signs of growth. Nothing. It has been a week and a half, and so far no green sprouts have broken the surface.

I love this time of year, and every spring I look forward to watching my first garden crop begin to grow. Usually, I see my first pea plants sprout within a week. So, it is unusual that they seem to be taking so long this year. There are a few logical explanations for this:

  1. The birds came and ate the seeds.
  2. The frost last week delayed them.
  3. They haven’t received enough water.
  4. The seeds are duds and aren’t going to sprout.
  5. I’m not being patient enough. These things take time.

Although all of the above options are possibilities, I think the last one is probably the correct assumption. If only I could look under the surface of the soil and see what is going on under there!

This reminds me of an insightful conversation I once had with a kindergarten teacher. She told me that each of her students would learn to read when their brains were developmentally ready. All year she taught the concepts and the building blocks for phonics and reading, but each student took off when they were ready.

She likened it to popcorn popping. One student might pop at the beginning of the year, others in the winter, some in the spring. Some students plodded along through kindergarten painfully sounding out words and popped into reading in first grade.

I absolutely love that analogy. Instead of thinking about each child needing to read at specific milestones of their grade-school career, it was more helpful to think of each child as an individual who was developing and reading when their particular brain was primed and ready. The bowl of popcorn takes time to pop. We have to be patient.

Whether talking about seeds, popcorn, reading, or life transitions, waiting is hard, isn’t it? It can create anxiety.

  • What’s taking so long?
  • What’s happening?
  • Did something go wrong?
  • Do I need to intervene?

Sometimes there are answers to these questions, but many times the answer is to wait and see. Keep watering. Keep practicing the vowels and consonants. Keep faithfully walking in the direction God has you going.

When the time is right, the situation will pop just like it’s supposed to.

Pause: Take a deep belly breath and consider: In what areas of your life do you find yourself anxiously waiting?

Renew: Pray, journal, or ponder: is there any action you need to take in this area or is it something that you must wait on? If you’re not sure, pray for God’s direction or talk to a trusted friend or mentor about it.

Next: If waiting is the name of the game, then I want to leave you some encouragement to meditate on from Psalm 27:14:

Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.

May you have peace as you wait.