Estimated reading time: 4 minutes
Summer in the Cascade Mountains is a warm window of respite from the consistent and predictable drizzle and overcast skies. The azure sky and crisp air reinvigorate and recharge the countryside for a few months. Absent are dreary skies, daily watering, and the musty dampness.
Replacing the saturated landscape are golden fields of wild grass tossed by the warm wind meandering through the valley floor. Gangs of majestic elk roam the open pastures; massive antlers and dark brown mantle accent their reddish-brown hide. Grazing on the abundance of grass and fruit, they meander through the meadow, alert and prepared to escape full gallop into the cover of the forest at the first hint of danger, the backdrop for an eager nine-year-old child and his canine companion.
Bobby sat cross-legged on an early summer morning. The crisp air filled his nostrils as he examined a beaver pond off the Cowlitz River’s overflow tributary adjacent to the large meadow, a short hike through the forest. It was a fantastic engineering feat, including a dam and beaver hut in the middle of the small lake-a beautiful textbook beaver habitat. Except it lacked one thing — a beaver.
He would wander by after his daily journey to check on the pond’s status—nothing. Each day is the same. Weeks, months passed without a sign of the beaver or activity. Predictably, the temperatures dropped, the daily precipitation returned, and the seasons changed. Gone was the warm summer breeze replaced with shorter gray days and the cold, dreary weather of Autumn and Winter’s white blanket. Their frequent trips through the forest and no sign of the large-tailed mammal. Interest turned to disappointment. He stopped looking.
As it warmed and days lengthened, the spring drizzle gave way to the return of reinvigorating summer in the mountains. Forgotten was the beaver pond, replaced with other interests and places to romp and greater distances
to explore. The farther the trek, the longer the return.
On one summer afternoon, Bobby exited the darkened forest canopy into the meadow and heard the insistent bark of his canine companion. The sun had set, and the skies were darkening. Reluctantly he set off in the direction of the
incessant barking and reached the ledge of the large pond. Two large tailed mammals paddled toward the beaver hut in the middle of the pond.
As adults, we seek the Lord in prayer, expecting an immediate answer or resolution. As we return daily, weekly, even monthly, without a response, our expectations decrease to a point where we stop asking, seeking. Disappointed, we move on to other issues, forgetting the request, pitching the dream, desire, or plea. We stop asking. Unexpectedly, in the right setting, at the right time, He answers. Sometimes in a whisper, other times loudly.
As we sit on our imaginary banks in prayer, He waits with us. We remember the pond, our Labrador, the beauty of the changing seasons, the majestic elk, and most of all, the joy of the unexpected. It, as with the beavers, was there all
The timing was the answer.
Wait on Him. His answer is never late in coming.