The blue-overall-clad farmer plucked a bearded head from its white stalk. His form blotted a black silhouette against the bright sky. I squinted in the sunshine. A shadow lay across me, its black outline with the billed cap looked like a crow atop his head.
Hands browned like leather, spotted with age, rolled the wheat berries until bits of chaff drifted down. Golden kernels lay inside his open palm. I leaned into where they clustered and counted. But before I was sure of the tally, his fist closed. He shook the grain like die about to be cast, then popped them into his mouth.
I waited in awe while he bit down thoughtfully, chewed, and spit the grain-gum into the field.
He nodded. Harvest was on.
Daddy knew when it was the right time.
I cannot think of summer without those fields of golden waves sweeping through my mind like a Kansas ocean.
Is it ready yet? Does it need another hot like-an-oven-day to harden?
Time, like wheat ripens.
If you enjoy, as I do, the aspect of God’s impeccable timing throughout Scripture, then you are probably a fan of the book of Esther. Without actually mentioning God’s name, the book overflows with His Unseen Presence and Sovereignty. His hand moves time. He fulfills His purposes exactly as He desires, precisely when He wants. And the humor of it brings a smile.
When time ripened, a demoted Queen Vashti gave way to a new Queen Esther. About 1,000 years before, God promised total elimination of the Amalekites. Arch enemies of the Jewish people throughout history, their rivalry smoldered as God set the scene for Mordecai the Jew and Haman the Agatite, to meet. Haman, right hand man for the king, traced his lineage to Amalekite King Agag during King Saul’s reign.
Like a revolving door, Haman and Mordecai entered and left the stage. Mordecai cared for his orphaned cousin Esther, but after she became Queen, no one connected obvious genealogy to her humble Jewish roots.
With the wicked Haman’s power, the Jewish nation faced annihilation. A month had passed for Esther without a summons from the King. Her people and her own life was on the line. Mordecai reminded her that perhaps she had come to the kingdom for “such a time.”
God still sets the scene of our story. He continues to put people in places and moments designed for His divine plans.
Christian lethargy from time’s relentless ticking is our enemy. What we see and what we know to be true conflict. Fruits of cynicism grow a harvest of unbelief and apathy.
“…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” 2 Peter 3:3-8 NKJV
Sometimes, I am tired of what I hear, incessant voices unhinged from the truth of God’s Word. I get numb with the circuitous spin of philosophies and ideas. My eyelids get heavy.
But like the long long history which birthed the story of Esther, God is not slow. He is right on time.
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9 ESV
Jesus invites us to walk with Him in the ripe wheat fields.
“Look, I tell you,” Jesus said, “lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest” John 4:35b ESV
By the word of his mouth, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End brought time into existence. Time belongs to Him. He created it and moves it to accomplish His purposes. Our Father knows when the time is right.
Take heart. God hasn’t forgotten us. His mercy extends far beyond ours, “not wishing that any should perish.”
Mordecai and Haman’s tables turned. The gallows Haman built to hang Mordecai became the gallows on which Haman died. God used Queen Esther, put into the right place at the right moment, “for such a time as this,” to save God’s people from slaughter.
We are here by the infinite wisdom of God for such a time as this.
Lift your eyes, see, the fields are white for harvest.
Sylvia, your words paint a beautiful picture of God’s timing. From the wheat fields to the story of Esther, we see illustrations of His impeccable ways. Thank you for connecting current times to His plan. May we be found faithful today.
Thank you Jeannie. I am so grateful for His impeccable timing. I am so often impatient. This is also a part of trusting Him and I fail so often! I appreciate your encouraging words!
Well done, Sylvia.
We must stop wringing our evangelistic hands and minds over “our” harvest. It’s “his” harvest, his final harvest and his daily harvests. And his timing is, indeed, always perfect.
Thanks Don. I wring my hands an awful lot. This was truly meant for me first!! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply!
Thank you, Sylvia…just what I needed to hear. His patience never fails to amaze me!
Thank Jan. His patience amazes me too. I appreciate your encouragement!
This post is right on time. I too grow weary with waiting. All that seems wrong appears to flourish. I have just been studying Esther. The Unseen God is obviously present in every page of her story.
Your post has stirred my heart and my faith. I know God is present even when I cannot see him. He is working all things together for good. Thanks, Sylvia.
Thank you Terri! How fun that you are reading Esther at the same time I am! I’ve been enjoying it so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Thankful for God’s timing!
How hard it is to wait on God’s timing. I needed to read this today to remind me to trust in my waiting. And to practice patience. Thank you.
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25 ESV).
A timely word-thank you for reminding us of the value of waiting on God’s timing-always right and good.
Thanks Marilyn! Always-right and always-good timing. I like that!
Patience doesn’t come easily for me either! Romans 8:25 is a great reminder. Thanks Candyce!
Your beautiful imagery puts me right in that wheat field with you and your dad. Brings back a lot of memories of growing on the farm. “Time like wheat ripens.” Love this sentence. Reminds me that we are still in the process of ripening as God grows us in service to Him. Your message is so beautiful and inspiring. Thank you.
“We are still in the process of ripening as God grows us in service to Him.” Wish I would have thought of saying that! I love that! Thanks Katherine.
Amen, Sylvia, His timing is always right. He directs our paths and we are blessed if we open ourselves up to His leading and follow.
Sylvia A Schroeder
It’s a wonderful truth that He is Sovereign over time. Thanks so much for reading and responding!
What a wonderful reminder, “God is not slow. He is right on time.” Too often I find myself impatient, wishing my hardships would quickly dissipate; but God is in control and He is always right on time. Thank you for this post.
Sylvia A Schroeder
Thank you Dawn. I’m so grateful I can count on Him!
Thanks, Aunt Sylvia. The farmer picture reminds me of someone we both knew really well. God’s timing is perfect. Thanks.
Awww! So so appreciate hearing from you Annette! Yup. I think we both knew him well! I’m really glad you took the time to weigh-in! Yes. God’s timing is perfect.
Nancy E. Head
Sylvia, what a wonderful synthesis of examples from the Bible of God keeping His promises! Thanks for such important reminders. God bless!
Sylvia A Schroeder
Thanks Nancy! What a faithful God we have!
Oh, how impatient I can become, Sylvia! But I’ve learned that God’s timing is indeed perfect. Thank you for a beautiful explanation.
Sylvia A Schroeder
Annie, I am a slow learner!! Thanks so much for your encouraging comment!
Thanks for the wonderful reminder and the beautiful way you paint a picture with your words.
Sylvia A Schroeder
Thank you Yvonne! I want to learn to trust Him more. My impatience shows I have a way to go!
“But like the long long history which birthed the story of Esther, God is not slow. He is right on time.” What a good reminder.
Why am I often impatient?! I am grateful He is not slow, but perfectly on time. Thanks Debbie!