Some things are worth the wait.
I have visited Redding, CA many times. During many of those many times, I have desired to visit Burney Falls, about 65 miles northeast. Sometimes, I couldn’t fit the trip into my limited time in the area. Other times the weather didn’t cooperate, and it was either too hot or too cold. Once, I made it all the way to the town of Burney, which is less than 10 miles from the park with the falls, but it took much longer to get there than expected and the weather took a sudden turn. I wasn’t properly dressed and didn’t have enough time to keep going, so I ended up traveling all that way just to turn around without making it to my destination. It was more than a little frustrating.
Despite the obstacles and delays—most of which were timing issues outside of my control—the desire never left. Finally, on New Year’s Eve, I made it! But even then, my trek was not without obstacles.
When I got to the park, there was a booth to pay an entrance fee. However, the booth was unmanned. Instead, there were envelopes with a rather involved system for “self-pay”—complete with a variety of stern warnings for the penalties of noncompliance! No need for the warnings, I had every intention of paying the fee.
But I couldn’t.
It wasn’t for lack of trying. I literally wasn’t able to. To comply, I needed something I didn’t have. I even took to flagging down a car that came after me to see if they could help me, to no avail.
So there I was. I had come a long way. I had waited a very long time. And now, no matter how hard I tried, I was unable, on my own, to “pay my way” for the final step of the journey. It was impossible.
I had a choice to make. I could turn around—again—after coming all that way, or I could take a risk. I could trust that the One I love and follow really did call me up that mountain, to that particular place, on that particular day. And if He did call me, I could trust that He would provide what I could not.
I forged on (as you can see), and I am so very grateful I did.
It was stunning. Absolutely, breathtakingly, amazingly, beautifully, stunning. Beyond what I pictured. Beyond what I hoped. Beyond what I could have imagined.
Even more than the beauty of the surroundings, was the profound sense of His pleasure. It was worth the wait and then some. I sensed He was not only thrilled to share the moment with me, I knew it was also prophetically symbolic of some very real risks I have taken to follow Him wherever the journey may lead:
- Regardless of the obstacles
- Regardless of the delays
- Regardless of previous disappointments and frustrations
- Regardless of the threats that accompany “noncompliance” with the world’s ways
- Regardless of the risk
Trusting His ways, in His timing, is always worth the wait. He already paid a price we could never pay and IT. IS. FINISHED! Although we may understand and believe the theology of that statement, walking out the reality of His grace and goodness to fulfill His promises is an ongoing journey for each of us. A journey that may lead us through twists and turns, disappointments and delays, and often into uncharted territory that makes absolutely no sense. We may even get within a hair’s breadth of victory and then be tempted to turn back because of obstacles that seem insurmountable.
Following Him is like that. He never gave His disciples a roadmap except to say that He Himself was the Way. His exhortation was simply, “Follow Me.” Although this story is a very personal prophetic picture for me, I know there are many others who have heeded the call to simply follow. To simply trust. To wait (and keep waiting) on His timing through frustrations, setbacks, and outright impossibilities.
Wherever you’re at on the journey, don’t stop short of His best. Keep trusting. Keep waiting and believing. Even when it looks impossible. Remember who He is and what He has said and just keep following. If you do, eventually, you will watch in wonder as your triumph unfolds in the hands of the One who does “immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine” (see Eph 3:20).
I suspect it will be worth the wait.
*NOTE: This blog was adapted from a blog recently written for Extreme Love Ministries