The Long Wait
…by Chuck Graham
Recently Beverly, our mothers, and I ventured out to see the pretty fall leaves. The first day brought little. Most trees still clung to the green of summer, others were merely dull. As we drove higher in the mountains, the Blue Ridge sprawled out like a rumpled blanket…but no color.
The second day we searched again. We rode through the Nantahala and Smoky Mountains, along the Roaring Forks and the Cades Cove Motor Trails, past rushing rivers, cascades, and waterfalls. We saw deer, elk, wild turkeys, and even a bear strolling down a highway…but no color.
The next day we would return home. Time was rapidly slipping away. And now, of all things, rain was coming. I wanted to show off God’s brightly colored forests. Instead, we saw only a splash here and there. We visited my favorite places…but no color. And I was growing impatient.
The eagle flies effortlessly, waiting for its journey’s end.
A verse in Ecclesiastes speaks of looking to the future rather than dwelling on the past or being satisfied with the present. The ancient words paint a picture, not of someone struggling to forge ahead but of a great bird flying over the lands of Israel.
This was likely the Eastern Imperial Eagle. With a large wing span, it can soar to 10,000 feet, above clouds and storms, staying aloft for 7 hours. With incredible eyesight, it can spot a soaring eagle 50 miles away and see very small prey at 3.
But this is not for show. There is always an ultimate purpose…flying to and from foreign lands (as much as 251 miles in a single day of its 2,098 mile migration). The eagle uses very long wings to ride the wind, waiting for the end of its journey.
God’s promise of tomorrow is worth waiting for.
A literal translation of the verse would be: “Extensively good is the future than the past. Extensively good is the long-winged wind than the lofty wind.” A more modern translation renders it this way: The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. 1
The message is clear–Do not be consumed with the past or the present, the good or the bad. Keep your eyes focused on the future God has for you, whether near or far. Life is better waiting for the tomorrow He has promised than being satisfied with you have done today.
By the way, after all the searching we looked forward to being home…and we found it.
Take care & be God’s,
Chuck Graham is Founder and Executive Director of Ciloa , an international ministry devoted to sharing God’s encouragement and teaching others how to “encourage one another as long as it is called Today!” He is an author, speaker, teacher, and encourager. Chuck and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrenceville, Georgia, USA. You can learn more about Chuck and Ciloa at www.Ciloa.org .
1. Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV)
Banner Photo: Eastern Imperial Eagle, DinoAnimals.com
First Photo: Blue Ridge Mountains, Blue Ridge Parkway, by Beverly Smith Graham
Second Photo: Eastern Imperial Eagle in Flight, DinoAnimals.com
Third Photo: Nantahala River along Wayah Road, North Carolina, by Beverly Smith Graham