Eighteen months ago, my husband and I bought a house with an inground pool. Never having been pool owners, we had our work cut out for us—-there was so much to learn, buy and do! While there are many major technical aspects to grasp, one of the minor nuances of pool ownership, and being a proper host, is having adequately prepared floats.
One morning, in anticipation of a friend coming over to swim, I started to ready the yard and pool for our guest. (After all, impressions are very important aren’t they!) I began inflating a few options. One in particular is a large, oval-shaped pineapple with a hole in the center. It’s the largest float we have, best suited for a larger floater, but a couple of the other normal sized ones had a leak so my options were limited.
To avoid overheating, I set myself up in the pool house. I attached the tiny air mattress pump onto the opening valve and held it in place to prevent any leaks. The sound of the pump mechanism muffled any potential sound of air entering the tube, so it was hard to tell if it was working or not. I watched for the body of the pineapple to expand, but I didn’t see much movement. So I continued to wait, adjusting the nozzle from time to time, pressing down on the float, attempting to gauge if any air was actually entering—-if this was going to be a fruitless effort, I would abandon it now and just try to inflate something else! After all, I didn’t want to waste time if this was a pointless pineapple with so much else to prepare. I was near to ditching the project as my fingers ached from pinching the opening and my impatience was mounting with every passing second.
And then God revealed Himself to me.
In this trivial example, the Lord was showing me how much I struggle with being still and waiting for God’s timeliness, not my own. As is typical of my ever-present worry and anxiety, doubtful feelings about my ability to succeed in this task had come rushing in. I was worried that the pump wasn’t actually working properly. Or maybe there was a leak somewhere in this floatie too. Or perhaps the air just isn’t making its way into the plastic as it should. Isn’t that what we do with life in general? Question whether things are working? Wonder what we need to do to fix things? Think about If it all fits into our timeline?
“Be still and know”, he whispered softly.
Just as the uninflating pineapple brought fear and feelings of uncertainty, the same is true for my reaction to any life circumstance with an unseeable answer. How quickly I turn to fear as opposed to faith. Just as I questioned my efforts and the worthiness of waiting on the inflatable, the same is true with my impatience in waiting for the Lord. How grateful I am that God is such a clever expert at revealing His Kingdom and my weakness through the mundane!
While my Father God shows me compassion in my human weakness and brokenness that fails daily to fully trust, He also continually commands my faithfulness because of the Cross and because of his trustworthiness. Though less concerned with an inflatable pineapple, God is GREATLY concerned with my increasing confidence in Him.
What was my lesson for the day? While it is so hard in 2021 to be still, God calls us to do so. Instead of instant gratification and answers to the here and now, God calls us to recalibrate our hearts and minds towards heaven. Sitting in the unknowing feels uncomfortable. Yet when we’re uncomfortable, we move. We shift. We reconsider. As I waited for the inflatable to inflate, I took stock of my impatience and my momentary status in the grand scheme of things. As I sat there waiting for the pineapple to “take shape”, I thought, this must be what my Father God is waiting for in me, as well.
As we wait, may our hearts take shape. Like the slowly stretching plastic of the pineapple, may our souls be unhurriedly soothed by the truth that God is in control, God’s promises are good and God’s timing is always perfect. And in the waiting, we can find comfort in knowing that when God is at the center, there’s always something worthwhile going on, if we would just be still to recognize and appreciate it.