Friday, September 16, 2011

From the olive grove

This week was the graduation of our July quarter at ELS. It was held at a beautiful olive farm nearby, and we sat looking out on the olive grove with these majestic purple mountains looming up behind them.

Do you know olive trees can take up to seven years to bear fruit? I can't imagine waiting seven years for something. Sometimes it can feel that way with our prayers though. Sometimes it feels like you go for long periods praying and seeking God without ever seeing any results.

But on graduation morning as I was standing there looking out at the students, I saw written on each one of their faces answers to prayer. Prayers for healing. Prayers for understanding. Prayers for visas. Prayers for friends. Prayers for family members. Prayers for joy. Prayers for growth. Prayers for comfort. Prayers for breakthrough. Prayers for endurance. Prayers for finances. Prayers for grace.

For some of those students, it was a year's worth of prayers that had brought them to graduation. For a brief moment I recalled all those early morning prayer meetings in the office and those long nights lying awake agonizing with God over this one or that one's situation and those countless whispered prayers for help for someone who was struggling, and I realized that here at last I was looking at the answers...and I was overwhelmed.

Yes, there are times when you pray and pray without seeing anything, but when the fruit finally comes, it is beautiful.

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