The Slow Work of God!

a picture of an apple tree bursting with fruit
Sarah Champlin, Minister of Youth, Young Adults, and Mission

Sarah Champlin
Minister of Youth, Young Adults, and Mission

Something you should know about me is that I love to go on walks. This is my go-to activity to regulate my system. Walking tends to be a meditative activity for me: I feel my feet connected to the ground and let each step after rhythmic step serve as the beat to my prayer. When I walk and pray, I try not to enter with an agenda, but let God take me where God will. This weekend when walking, a simple sentence surfaced through my steps. “Trust in the slow work of God.” I repeated it over and over throughout my whole walk, not realizing until that moment how much I needed to hear it.
I don’t think I’m the only one who wishes everything would just fall into place instantaneously. We often want to skip the scary or the hard or the tedious parts of life and just get to the good stuff, when all of our work and our worries finally pay off. We chafe against uncertainty and find ourselves hoping for the big, explosive miracles that can solve all our problems instantly. The pace of God’s work often feels dreadfully, painfully slow. Yet out of this slow work of God comes deep strength and power. I’m reminded of a quote by Clarence Jordan, one of my spiritual teachers: “Behold a tree. Does it not speak to us thusly: ‘Don’t you see that God is not working himself into a frenzy in me? I am calmly, quietly, silently pouring forth my life and bringing forth fruit. Do thou likewise.’”

Do thou likewise. Let’s leave room this autumn week to look to the slow-growing fruit trees for guidance. In everything we do this week, may we calmly pour forth our lives into that which we love, and trust that God’s grace will take care of the rest.

October 9, 2023

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