Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
Summer in the Cascade Mountains is a warm window of respite from the consistent and predictable drizzle and overcast skies. For a few months, the azure sky and crisp air reinvigorate and recharges the countryside. 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 boy and
his canine companion.
He was sitting cross-legged on an early summer morning, the crisp air
filling his nostrils as he examined a beaver pond located 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.
After his daily journey, he would wander by 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
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 for them to romp and greater distances
to explore. The farther the trek, the longer the return.
On one summer afternoon, as he exited 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
bark and reached the ledge of the large pond. In the middle of the pond were two
large tailed mammals paddling toward the beaver hut.
As adults, don’t 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.