Finally. It was about three weeks ago I was shoveling the snow off the roof. It was knee deep, and I was worried that if it rained during the expected thaw, the weight of the snow would be too much. The year after Matt and Jeanine were married, the snow took down the shed roof of Nate's barn, killing their pet pig. Just this winter, I've seen two barns collapse with the snow buildup. So yes, I was a bit concerned. It took two days, but I got the job done without falling off like I did last year.
The only problem was the ladder. There was so much snow that when I shoveled it off, I buried the ladder up to the third rung. When I tried to take it down after the job was finished, I couldn't budge it, so it's stood, leaning against the house for the last three weeks. Temperatures over the last few days have been mild, and the snow has been rapidly melting. Everywhere around town it is almost gone except for in our front yard where the snow is shadowed by the huge spruce. But sooner or later, the thaw reaches us, too, and today I was finally able to work the ladder free from its snowy prison.
Sometimes we just have to wait for the right time. We see problems to solve, evils to conquer, opportunities to grasp, and want it all to happen right now. But it doesn't. Even our salvation had to wait for the right time. In his letter to the Galatian Christians, St. Paul reminded us that it was "in the fullness of time [that] God sent forth his Son...to redeem" us. Christ's death was "foreordained from before the foundation of the world," according to St. Peter, but it had to wait till everything was in place, which didn't happen until about 2,000 years ago.
Sometimes great ideas fail because the timing is off. It often takes wisdom beyond our own to read the signs of the times so as to do the right thing at the right time. Rush it, and it falls apart; wait for the right time, and it can be a joy to behold how God works things out. Isaiah tells us that if we want our strength renewed, we must wait on the LORD. Tonight, I am grateful for my ladder stuck in the snow. It is a small reminder of what I must do every day: wait on the LORD for his timing instead of trying to force things into my own preconceived plans. As I get older, I may be slowly running out of time, but God never is. And his time is always right.