a lesson in waiting…

waiting Over the many years of my marriage, God has been giving myself and my husband lessons in patience and waiting.  Admittedly, we rarely pass the test.  I don’t know why we have such a hard time learning this lesson but it’s definitely been one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced.  Let me give you a few examples.  First of all, we met four days after I turned 18 and two weeks later we were engaged to be married.  Providential? Yes, but a sign of a pattern we would establish throughout our married life.  When we needed a house, we bought one… in a day.  When we needed a new car, we bought one… that day.  Just about every decision we’ve made has been this way.  The second a decision presents itself, we make it.  Obviously, some of our choices have left us scratching our heads or biting our nails, thinking, “maybe we shoulda waited on this one”.  We’ve gotten better over the years – a little.  We have intentions of patience.  We weigh our decisions for a bit longer, but honestly we fail in calling out to the Lord for His direction.

Nevertheless, God has been very forgiving and patient with us in this area.  He has protected us, since day one, from our impetuous decisions.  I’m often perplexed though.  Why is it so hard for us to learn this lesson? 

As God moves in this wonderful, mysterious way in my family, I find myself really desiring Godly patience.  I know God is doing wonderful things and I do not want to get ahead of Him or be in His way.  I desire to simply be here and be ready for whatever He is preparing for us.  I want us all to be ready.  I also know this is not just a time of waiting.  It is a time of preparation.  We are clearly meant to be learning, growing and maturing – each and every one of us – from my husband all the way down to little Mags.  In the past though, I’ve had a tendency to make a time like this a ‘busying’ experience.  I get in God’s way and take over.  Like Abraham headed for Egypt rather than waiting on God, I construct my own plan of preparation which only results in a lot of useless running around and wasteful spending of energy. 

In a search for the answer to this question of patience, I’m finding some helpful advice from (where else?) the Bible. 

  • 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
    they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.  — Isaiah 40:31
  • 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  — Romans 5:3-5
  • 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  — Romans 8:25
  • 12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  — Romans 12:12
  • 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  — Galatians 5:22-23
  • 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  — Philippians 4:11
  • 35 Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.  — Hebrews 10:35-36
  • 2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  — James 1:2-4
  • 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.  — James 5:7-8

I think I’ll take some time each week to study these passages.  Maybe take one at a time and just work my way through them. 

Father, you are my holy unchangeable Lord.  What you desire, you will do.  For you will complete what you appoint for me, and many such things are in your mind.  I pray you keep my feet from stumbling or wandering to my Egypt when I grow restless and impatient.  Keep me content in the joys of your wisdom and the richness of your mercy.  Amen.

 

knittingprose

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Sheila Jackson on September 11, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Patience is something that I have always struggled with. It is also something that I have prayed for. About a year and a half ago I was going thru the biggest trial of my life. As the trial cimaxed I came to a place where I had to wait for two weeks for an answer that would forever change my life. The waiting was agonizing. I have never prayed and sought God like I did during that time. At one point I completely broke down and told my mom ” I am trying to be patient *sob* I have prayed for patience *sob*: she instantly said “WHAT? You prayed for patience, You NEVER pray for patience” I said “why not” she said the Lord will give you a trial to teach you. lol I had been praying that the Lord would give me patience for at least two years. The Lord is faithful to answer our prayers! That trial taught me alot. The Lord performed a miracle on my behalf! I would love to tell you that I am a patient person now, but that would not be entirely true, Will I continue to pray for patience? a 100 times yes. (James 1: 2-4) Now when I am faced with a trial or a situation that I need patience, I think back to what the Lord did for me and I draw strength from that, knowing that He is the one in charge.

    Reply

    • Posted by knittingprose on September 15, 2009 at 5:57 am

      Sheila,
      I think God has been teaching me that as well – that when I let go and give Him control, all is as it should be and better than I could ever hope or think up on my own. Your story is an encouragement to me. Some situations seem completely desperate… but those are the miracles He’s waiting to work, if only I’ll get out of the way. *sigh* I’m getting there! = )

      Reply

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