Squirrels, Bunnies, and Patience

“Is it time to eat? What are we eating?” Chase’s favorite evening questions echoed in the warm kitchen.

I glanced at the microwave clock, checked the steaming vegetables, and turned the crock pot to warm. It was 6:55 and my hubby was on his way home. Summer’s lazy mornings coupled with a looming project deadline meant Trev might not appear until 7:00 pm or later.

“A couple minutes. Daddy will be here soon.”

Just then Jedi tore across the kitchen like Scooby Doo, legs flying and paws reaching, ramming his nose against the large kitchen window. A year ago Trev installed a dog door in our back sliders and another on the lanai, and with a fenced backyard our energetic Pointer/Boxer mix has free reign.

He loves laying in the sun-drenched backyard, his observant brown eyes alert for a sneaky squirrel trying to grab a bird seed snack on our bird feeder. He often runs from the backyard to the front window, and back again, to find out what’s happening in our neighborhood.

The object of his attention that night was a squirrel gathering food in our next door neighbor’s front yard, just below a tree. Jedi lives to chase squirrels, and since our neighbors had moved out a few months’ prior, the wildlife activity next door had picked up.

“Mom, look at Jedi.” Chase joined Jedi at the front window. “He’s shaking. Can we let him out?”

Jedi was indeed shaking, his hunting genes fully engaged. His eyes shadowed every movement of the bushy-tailed creature as it scurried about the yard.

“Not yet, I have to finish getting dinner ready.”

Jedi’s muscular hind legs shook as though we were in the middle of a California earthquake. As I started putting plates and napkins around the table, he let out a low, pleading howl.

“You’re just going to have to wait.”

“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” ~ James 1:4

I finished setting the table, and the cacophony of whining, dog-yodeling, and child giggling continued. I looked out the window to make sure no one was coming up the street, and Jedi scrambled after me to the front door, 70 pounds of quivering excitement.

When at last I opened the door, I was totally shocked to see a bunny bounding directly in front of us, through our front yard.

Visions of Cadbury eggs danced through my head…

Jedi took off like a shot, chasing the surprised bunny toward the woods on the other side of our neighbor’s house, the squirrel a distant memory. I dissolved into a bundle of shocked hilarity at the door.

A minute later, as Jedi trotted back inside, I commented, “Good thing I made you wait, puppy.”

Later God brought the squirrel and bunny situation to mind. Waiting. Patience. The process of holding off on something that seems good because Someone has something even better in store. “Stop. Wait. I know what’s best. Trust ME.”

Oswald Chambers explained, “God gives us a vision, and then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of that vision. It is in the valley that so many of us give up and faint. Every God-given vision will become real if we will only have patience.”

It’s difficult, but so necessary, and God’s best is always more than we could have asked for or imagined.

I’ve often bucked like an angry mustang at the hand God has held up or at the direction He’s leading me in, sometimes even charging ahead and getting myself into a mess. We’ll always fall flat when we’re apart from His plans. Yet…grace. He’s always patient and faithful to wait for me as I learn to wait for Him.

If God gave you a vision – His purpose for your life, for His glory – wait on Him for each footfall toward the vision you take. Listen to His voice and His word alone, and let Him lead. Don’t jump at a squirrel when He’s sending you a bunny.

But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. ~ Acts 20:24

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One thought on “Squirrels, Bunnies, and Patience

  1. Oh, Kerry – this message was just what I needed right now! I know His plans – I know He will take care – and I just need to shake off the anxiety that is trying to steal my peace. That anxiety kind of blew me away for awhile tonight – even though I know I believe in His plan – it was like that anxiety needed to just empty itself. Your words helped clean up the mess!

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