Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working (James 5:16)
We’re captivated by butterflies at my house. The elegance and beauty of them, the colors and patterns, the transformation they go through—it all enlivens our imaginations.
We’re big fans.
So, last year my daughters begged me, real, true, actual begging, for the five caterpillars you order through the mail and then watch transform into butterflies. Thank you, TV commercials.
This year, the begging commenced again, although my daughters mentioned how nice it would be to grow monarch butterflies because they were, in fact, my oldest daughter’s favorite.
It turns out, however, that they won’t send you monarch butterfly caterpillars unless you have milkweed growing in your garden to feed them. Seems fair that you feed the butterflies after you grow them.
Here’s the thing, milkweed seeds have to lie dormant in the ground all through the cold of winter before they’ll grow in the spring. Just like many spring bulbs, they require a season of germination. So, I can’t –say–magically grow milkweed in two weeks to feed baby monarch butterflies.
Thus, our cup of painted lady caterpillars arrived last week.
And I’ll be planting milkweed seeds in November.
Now, during those winter months, those milkweed seeds will seem utterly useless and far from life. Yet, water is penetrating the outer shell and ultimately the new life will crack the dead casing and push through into the soil.
When God has given us a season of waiting, perhaps even what looks like death and cold, it doesn’t mean we do nothing. Instead, we can fill ourselves with God. We can immerse ourselves in prayer, until life breaks through.
In his book, Nehemiah tells us that when he heard about the ruin of the Jerusalem walls, he “sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:4). Ultimately, he invested three to four months in what Kelly Minter terms the “pre-work of prayer,” before ever acting on his passion.
My husband probably cringes every time he hears me say these few words: “I’ve been thinking . . . ” or “I have an idea.” For all my ideas, though, I find that God isn’t often in a rush. He gives me the time I need to pray, sometimes for months, sometimes even longer. He gives me the assurance that this is right.
It’s not doing nothing; it’s doing the most important thing needed to make any ministry or project successful. It’s the season of prayer that precedes the season of growth.
More Devotions From My Garden:
- Breaking Ground
- Tomato Plant Prayers
- May the God of Hope
- The Storms May Come
- Soil Samples
- Peppermint In The Spring
- Be An Original
- Underneath the Dirt
- Whatever It Takes
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.