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In its Time!

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2024 at 7:55 am

Musings and Memories

By Doug Dezotell

One of my favorite activities has always been going for a drive through the countryside.

Dad built that into me I guess.

Dad and Mom would take my brother and sister and me to Valley Dairy to get ice cream cones and then we would head out into the country through the farm lands of eastern North Dakota, and sometimes we would even cross the river into Minnesota to explore.

I loved to talk to the cows as Dad would slow down on the road and I called out to them; or Paul and Cynthia and I would snort at the pigs out by one of our favorite farms.

When Lynn and our kids and I moved here to the hills of Middle Tennessee from Inner-City Memphis, I drove through the countryside just about every day exploring our new Homelands.

The kids and I would drive over to Bell Buckle to the ice cream shop, get our ice cream cones and then head out to explore the backroads of Bedford County.

It’s also been one of  my favorite things to do with our granddaughters too.

We’ll stop at a store and buy snacks to travel with and then we hit the road.

The girls would love looking for cows and horses and goats, and lions and tigers and bears. O My!

But, they also would get excited when we came upon a patch of daffodils growing in a field; a blaze of bright yellow in a field of green.

I love middle Tennessee in the spring, when everything starts blooming; trees start budding and wildflowers pop up all over.

I enjoy reading the Bible verse in Ecclesiastes 3:11 out loud that says,: “God has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the hears of men; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

“God Has Made Everything Beautiful In Its Time.”

That is so true, especially when our landscape is graced with the colors of spring.

When I was in my late teens, I moved to Tucson, Arizona. It was during the beginning of a North Dakota snow storm when I headed out west to a warmer climate.

When I first arrived in the Tucson desert I thought everything was so alien and unlike anything I had ever seen growing up in the Northern Plains.

There were all these strange prickly plants in all different sizes growing all over the sandy soil and even out of some rocks.

I called those strange plants cactuses, but I was soon told the plural form is ‘cacti.’

Everything seemed brown and lifeless to me that winter in Arizona.

But then springtime in the Tucson Sonoran desert caught me by surprise.

And all those cactuses (okay, Cacti) that seemed so foreign to me were soon covered with brightly colored blossoms.

Big, beautiful, waxy flowers; vibrant and surprising.

It was truly an amazing surprise.

I saw that God truly did make everything beautiful in its time.

Wherever we go across this country of ours, or in foreign lands, God makes everything beautiful in its time.

At the church where I serve as the Pastor…Preacher…Teacher…Resident Theologian and Bible Scholar, we sing a wonderful song in our worship services that has become one of my favorites. It’s called The Hymn of Promise, written by Natalie Sleeth.

After penning the words to this hymn in February of 1985, Natalie wrote that she was “Pondering the death of a friend, life and death, and resurrection, and pondering winter and spring, (seeming opposites), and a T.S. Eliot poem which had the phrase in it, ‘In our end is our beginning.’”

Those pairs that seem so contradictory, led to the theme of the song and the hopeful message that out of one will come the other whenever God chooses to bring that about.

The lyrics are as follows:

In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed an apple tree;                                                                                                          In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!                                                           In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,                                                            Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;                                                                                        There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.                                                From the past will come the future; what it holds a mystery,                                                Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;                                                                                                                     In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,                                                                           In our death a resurrection; at the last a victory,                                                                         Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

Shortly after Mrs. Sleeth wrote this hymn, her husband, Dr. Ronald Sleeth, was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

When he heard “Hymn of Promise” for the first time, he told his wife that he wanted that song to be sung at his funeral.

I love new beginnings.

And I love spring!

Spring is that fresh and beautiful time of year, when the dreariness of winter gives way to the fresh newness of a bright season of hope.

I love the hope that it offers, and the new vision we can find after a period of winter gloom.

I love the daffodils that dot the landscape; and the birds that return to sing their cheerful songs.

The warm weather and sunny days make us smile and dream of better days.

And we know that God makes everything beautiful in its time; in His time.


Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Cannon UMC, and he is a columnist for the Bedford County Post. Doug is Lynn’s husband; Gabe, Mikey and Laura’s  father; and Charlie and Kori and Jojo’s grandfather. He can be contacted at and at 931-607-5191. Thank you for reading Doug’s ‘Musings and Memories’ and for reading the wonderful Bedford County Post. We appreciate you!