Never Late (Habakkuk 2.3 (TLB))

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!”

Habakkuk 2.3 (TLB)

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 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.


The young boy 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 and 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.

One summer afternoon, emerging from the darkened forest canopy into the meadow he 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.

Never Late

As adults, we seek the Lord in prayer, expecting an immediate answer or resolution. As we return daily, weekly, and even monthly without a response, our expectations decrease to a point where we stop asking and seeking. Disappointed, we move on to other issues, forgetting the request, pitching the dream, desire, or plea. We stop asking. Unexpectedly, He answers in the right setting at the right time. Sometimes in a whisper, other times loudly.

As we pray on our imaginary banks, 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 time. The timing was the answer.

Wait on Him. His answer is never late in coming.

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