Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Is Anything too hard for the Lord?

Last week I signed the contract! A three book deal with Broadman and Holman, for three historical, inspirational, romance novels . . . it was a beautiful thing.

It came by Priority Mail. I ripped open the red, white and blue envelope, slid out all that lovely cream and brown marbled paper with the big B&H watermark in the middle. I found (read God provided) an amazing agent who helped me navigate the legaleze and an incredible editor who met us more than half-way, making the changes look like Christmas tinsel and trimmings on a present. My husband took a photo of me signing it . . . such a long time in coming, so many times he has encouraged me and told me, "years from now, you'll back on all of this [waiting] and laugh. It's going to happen." Well, I'm not laughing yet, but the hard years of waiting are already fading a bit. Like holding a newly birthed baby, the months of getting huge, uncomfortable, and psycho (I really struggled with being pregnant!) are fading in the face of what's sitting in my hands. It'll be even better when I'm holding the actual book!

All this brings to my mind the others that have waited. My sister, waiting for her "life" to begin and now, this fall going to Regent University for her beloved psychology degree. My husband, as he waited for years for me to grow up and realize I loved him as much as he loved me (he was sixteen when he knew - so give me a small break). And then there are so many examples God has given us in His word, people always waiting for the "appointed time."

Genesis 18:14 "Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son." (Italics mine).

Sarah and Abraham waited such a long time for their promise. But I love that phrase . . . "the time of life." It makes me think that if a dream or desire comes before its chosen time, would it be the time of death? Would be too much? Not enough? Could it destroy us? Only God knows.

And He does. He really does know when the culmination, the fulfilling prophesy, the time, is exactly right.

All I know, is that I feel like I've been pregnant for ten years and if I don't birth something soon, it's gonna blow! But I've learned patience and hard-won, gut-deep, persistent faith. He wouldn't let me stop believing.

So if you're struggling with wanting something, something that you can't give up on, know I feel your pain and there's a purpose in it. He wouldn't let us languish on the vine. He wants us to bear fruit and fruit . . . sweet, beautiful, succulant fruit, takes time.

I wrote this poem a year or so ago and it just seems fitting, showing how He has it all in the palm of His hand, that He's enjoying us as we come into His purpose.

Can You Imagine

Can you imagine how He made it
created from nothingness
the promises and possibilities of heaven
brought into being by a few spoken words

Can you see His hand as He threw out the stars
like seeds on wind
floating to their place with names of their own
the sun and the moon taking turns, like parents
leading and guiding and lighting our way

What of the great expanse
that perfect combination of breathable air
the puffy clouds that He knew would float
into shapes we could imagine

Then there were fish
in so many shapes and sizes and colors
some make us laugh out loud at their funny faces
others inspire a still silence
so huge, so sleek, so deadly

Fur and feathers, scales and skin
coverings for creatures
scurrying in their forest homes
roaming in hunter stealth among jungle grass
lurking bright-eyed from trees and holes and caves
There are no homeless here
sunning on rocks in the hot of the sun
sparkling backs on slow creeping legs
darting tongues from dragon-like faces
What imagination
What might
What glory

And then, while the hosts of heaven watch
see them gasp as He begins His masterpiece
a sculptor with the perfect mix of clay
He molds the delicate eyes
knowing the glory they will behold
He thoughtfully creates the tiny bones of the ear
knowing the music they will make
Can you imagine it?

The man
so strong and sure in his beauty
intelligence rests on his brow
strength upholds his chest and mighty arms
adventure lures his thoughts
made to protect and guard
made to provide and father
made to delight His maker
We even surprise Him sometimes
picture His surprised delight in man

Now see the woman with me
how lovely in her graces
how her lithe strength is displayed in her garden dance
she dances for her man and her God
See Him implant within her secret places
the seeds of all mankind
See Him gift her with the power of the nations in her hand
How pleased!
how blessed He must have felt to see the handiwork of His creation.

Can you imagine the adventures He planned for us?
When Columbus first sailed and the earth became round in our minds
Sit back with Him on His throne or ride with chariotÂ’s wings
as He watches the play He has made
His heart wrenching with our tragedies
and soaring with our triumphs
but knowing, always knowing
and hoping that we will choose Him

Can you see His joy when we discover the hidden secrets of our world
when the mysteries of fire and light and heat are made known to us
when the infinite miracles of our bodies, just clay but so much more
are explored as the depths of the oceans or the black of space
Blank pages becoming the stories of our lives

Even now, can you see Him in the laboratory peeking over a shoulder
peering through a microscope on the verge of a discovery
His breath is held still
awaiting the moment when we rear back in sudden understanding
when we get a glimpse of what He knows

Can you see His smile when we studied the birds
took our first flight
see Him beside us in his chariot of fire booming with laughter
at the pure joy of it
Wasn't He center stage when moon dust coated our boots
and we had inched a little closer to Him in His heaven
Beloved, can you see Him smiling and triumphant
when we see the mysteries He made for us
planned since before time began to share with us
just waiting for us to notice

Then, in a moment and yet a lifetime
after we've looked and seen and experienced
can you see His thudding heart
when we look up and notice His Son
when our eyes are full of the blood-spilt glory of Him
the Great I AM
can you imagine His welling heart of love
when we open to Him and return it

He waits for it . . . He longs for it
He planned for it all along . . .