"Earth's crammed with heaven, And every common bush aflame with God. But only those who see take off their shoes. The rest sit around and pluck blackberries."
~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
* * *
* * *
Recently, we decided to throw caution to the winds and order a pizza. Since virtually everything nowadays is electronic, I chose to place the order online. I was proud of the way I navigated through the ordering process, only having to clear the order and revise it twice, which for me is pretty good. I remembered one thing from the old-fashioned days of phoning in the order. The pizza would be here in thirty minutes or less, piping hot. Good husband that I am, I set up the TV trays (don't tell the kids that we eat in front of the TV sometimes), put out plates and napkins, and waited. And waited. And waited.
After forty minutes, I phoned the pizza place and was told, "It's been dispatched," making me think my pizza was coming code three in a police cruiser or something. Dispatched or not, it was another ten minutes before the pizza was delivered by a teen-aged boy with a big smile. The pizza wasn't piping hot, but it was sort of warm. And I chose not to make a big thing of the delay. It didn't matter who was at fault. We got our pizza, he got his tip, and things proceeded from there.
When I began writing, I looked forward to the day when I’d be able to look at the books above my desk and see my name on the spine. I struggled to learn the craft, I wrote and submitted, I suffered through rejection after rejection, and wondered how long it would take for God to fill my order. After four years, four unpublished novels, and forty rejections, I’m now looking at the shelf above my desk, at copies of four published novels with my name on the cover. And you know what? They came right on schedule—the one God decreed.
Sometimes we look at God like a pizza delivery boy. We put in our order--that is, we pray earnestly for something--and expect it delivered to our door, piping hot, in thirty minutes or less. We get antsy if there's no action, because we hate to wait. But God works on a different time schedule than we do. When He answers our prayers, and I believe He always does although the answer may not be what we want, He does it in his own time. And He doesn't always give us what we asked for, although I truly believe that in the long run we usually get what we need.
* * *
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, a member of DFW Ready Writers, past Vice-President of the American Christian Fiction Writers, and the author of four published novels of medical suspense. His books have been finalists in competitions including ACFW’s Carol Award and Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year, while his novel, Lethal Remedy, won a 2012 Selah Award from the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference. His next medical thriller, Stress Test (Thomas Nelson), will be released in April of this year, to be followed by Heart Failure in October.