When I was growing up, I loved the last traces of summer before the cold weather set in. The days of Indian Summer were my favorite. Maybe it was because the final burst of warmth came alongside the vibrant reds and oranges of autumn, the longer rays of sunshine, and a distinct smell in the air. Change was coming.
Indian Summer can also refer to "the late, often unexpected, blooming of something." In that case, the Old Testament is full of Indian Summer stories. Sarah conceived Isaac in her (very) old age. She was 90 when God told her the good news. Abraham was 99. (See Genesis 17-21 for the whole story.)
God's timing is not our own. And His power is not limited. In response to Sarah's doubt, the LORD said, "Is anything too hard for the LORD ? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son" (Genesis 18:14).
What to us feels late, is to God, perfect.
We weren't supposed to be able to have any more babies. Even though we wanted more, we told our kids that the doctors said "Mommy's body is done making babies. But," we said, "we can pray."
And we did.
Teddy is our Indian Summer baby. He was conceived after three doctors with three sets of blood work confirmed what I dreaded, that I was in early-onset menopause. Upon hearing I was pregnant, one of them said, "You must be part Sarah."
Sarah's late-in-life conception and delight in baby Isaac, as well as our own Sarah-like miracle, are reminders that God's sense of timing is wholly other than ours.
2 Peter 3:8-9 says, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance."
There's an old Charlie Peacock song written around this Scripture. In it, Peacock sings, "time is a gift of love and grace, without time there'd be no time to change."
How will you spend your time? I'm praying for grace to see the delays of life not as frustrating inconveniences or disappointments, but as windows of opportunity. Every delay holds the possibility of an unexpected blooming.