Thursday, September 8, 2011

Patience is a Virtue (That I Don't Have)

I'll go ahead and warn you, I'm in a mood.

I read a quote by Peter Marshall this week that said, "Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work." That could sum me up, hopefully not all of the time, but if I'm being honest, most of it.

Today, I am not in need. I am living a life I am content with. I'm so, so blessed, but it doesn't feel like enough. And it aggravates me when I feel that way. But the more I live, the more I'm learning to recognize we will make plenty of mistakes, but what really matters is how we react to them. What am I going to do when I want more? Am I going to try to fill that void with material things or with people or with the strive to be successful? Having those feelings is normal, but am I going to use it to turn to God or do something I'll regret or that's not the best?

I did a Bible study earlier this summer on Jonah and in it I read the story of Jehoshaphat. I always remember the name; the story, not so much. In 2 Chronicles 20, Jehoshaphat, Judah, and Jerusalem are vastly outnumbered in a battle they can't win in their human strength. God speaks, saying, "Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem." (v. 15 & 17). So that day, they sang to the Lord, and He brought their enemies against each other, keeping His promise that they would not fight the battle.

 This story encourages me when there is some sort of vision or thing that I desire, that I believe He wants for me also, just not yet, and not for me to get for myself. My job is obedience in each day and to praise Him. I have no control over His plans, I have no responsibility in making everything fit together, and frankly, I would be quite terrible at it.

So when I want more, I'm learning to turn to God when I'm unsatisfied. To praise Him and obey Him, while He works out the plan. Maybe that way it won't feel like waiting, but if it does, that's OK.

It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait!
   And it doesn't lie.
If it seems slow in coming, wait.
   It's on its way. It will come right on time.
 Habakkuk 2:3