Waiting in line. Waiting to grow up. Waiting to get to the destination. Waiting to get married. Waiting to have kids. Waiting to have grand kids. Waiting to retire. Waiting to get that job promotion. Waiting to heal. Waiting to be restored. Waiting to know God’s will. Waiting.
Waiting has never been something us earthlings have been good at!
Yet, for some reason, waiting is associated with patience, and it is a character trait required of Christians. How can I possibly be patient in life if that is not my normal M.O., my normal nature? And why must I learn to function within the bonds of time and be subject to its limitations when I was created to be timeless? After all, God is the God of eternity and Ecclesiastes 3: 11 says “He has placed eternity in the human heart. .. .”
Patience is the fruit of the Spirit that has boggled me the most. It is both a frustration and a gift, and like the other fruits of God’s Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5, it is a highly counter-cultural way of living. But why should it surprise me when God requires his people to be counter-cultural and different from the rest of the world? After all, to be holy like God literally means to be set apart.
At the heart of patience is a trust in God. Oddly enough, as if in some backward math formula, we are patient enough to trust God with eternity, yet fear the next 5 minutes. Perhaps the best way to manifest the fruit of patience has more to do with the immediate future than eternity. What we do and who we trust NOW will define the journey for the long haul. So, in an oxy-moronic (is that a word?) way, patience actually begins now.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NLT)
8 Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride.
Pictures: 1) Rock Solid this week; 2) Rock Solid this week; 3) Bible in Schools