Patience. Oh, THAT word.
Seriously, ever notice how “dangerous”it is to pray for patience? Oh ya, you bet it will be answered. But of course, you learn it by waiting, and being patient. I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking, “Ok God, patience please, now! Thank you.” On my timetable, in my comfort zone. Ya right. (Even though in His grace, He’ll probably teach it to us whether we pray for it or not.)
And then we wait. And we wait. Usually for the things that matter most to us.
And then, in His “this world is not your home” kind of way, Christ strips away the value we find in the very things we are waiting for. Often we’ve made those things idols, arrogantly replacing Christ with them. Painful usually. Lots of fighting and struggling involved…and then finally surrender. But oh how sweet that surrender feels. Rest after exhaustion. And then the resolve to just be still. To just wait. To simply let go and trust.
And then the realization that what we’re waiting for isn’t the goal at all. Because what He’s teaching through patience is far beyond you or what you want. Far beyond what you’re waiting for. Far beyond just patience. Far beyond your desire for comfort. But it’s something right here. Right now. Amidst this season. And then ultimately, something bigger than you could have dreamed up yourself. Something intended for your good and His glory. Far beyond what you could ever “ask or imagine.”
So what do we do during a season of patience?
Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5
And then believe…
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
And then understand, practice, and hang onto this (especially if the need for patience is difficult)…
And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3-5
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He might exalt you. 1 Peter 5:6
“Patience is the deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait on God and wait on His timing”…”The strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all of our delays and detours. This requires great faith in future grace because the evidence is seldom evident.” -John Piper
So wait, friends. Be still. And just trust. And then I urge you to find the beauty of His glory in the patient journey, not in the destination.
Patience. Oh, THAT word.