I know I wrote about patience the last time, and thought that the point God was trying to make with me had much to do with it. It didn’t take long to discover that my instinct was correct, and within three days I’d had three devotionals that ‘coincidentally’ centered around patience. The title of the next devotional after the ‘solstice’ one was even titled “Experiencing Patience”! It had plenty of references too: By your patience possess your souls (Luke 21:19). A fruit of the Spirit is patience (longsuffering) in Galatians 5:22. There was even this quote: Patience is passion tamed.
In three days more ammunition was supplied: This devotional was titled “Model of Patience” and included: But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:4) And the conclusions listed therein? Quote: For a Christian, patience is willful and cheerful submission to the will and timing of God in one’s life. Also: Cheerful patience is a holy art and skill, which man learns from God.
By that time I was seeing the point pretty clearly. The following morning continued the one-sided discussion I was having with God (since He was doing all the talking here), when its title was: How Long? Its conclusion was: If you are waiting on God, know there is a reason for his (seeming) delay. What seems like a delay on earth is a sign of a purpose or reason in heaven. Citing the digital age (with the internet and instant messaging methods), it also said: We are used to getting answers and replies to questions NOW and we forget that God works on His timetable, not ours.
The next devotional, Divine Delays, held this summation of the problem: Next time your path is changed unexpectedly, trust by faith that God is in it and that the change was for a good reason (Romans 8:28). And then finally, yesterday, just in case I hadn’t quite gotten the whole idea yet, there was: God’s job is to guide the world. Your job is to “be anxious for nothing” (Philippians 4:6), and to rest in the Father’s promises. After reading all that (and obviously being supplied with all I’ve needed, per Philippians 4:19) I can only say: All right. I get it. Uncle. I’ve learned my lesson. And I’ll stop complaining.
My thanks to Turning Points Magazine and Devotional, because this month’s edition seems to have been written solely for my benefit! Through it I have reexamined my problems by different standards, and have been given new insight into some of the reasons for the possible delays. I don’t know why things go the way they go, but God does, and though I don’t like the delays (whether divine or not!), I’ve currently gained a better grasp on the ‘patience’ issue! Thankfully, when I glanced ahead to this weekend’s article, it was titled “Experience Hope”! (Something to anticipate, for sure!)
I have to finish with just one last devotional (from Daily Thoughts for Disciples, by Oswald Chambers) that touched me most:
I will give you the treasures of darkness. Isaiah 45:3
We would never have suspected that treasures were hidden there, and in order to get them we have to go through things that involve us in perplexity . . . God gives us a new revelation of His kindness in the valley of the shadow. What are the days and the experiences that have furthered us most? The days of green pastures of absolute ease? No, they have their value; but the days that have furthered us most in character are the days of stress and cloud, the days when we could not see our way but had to stand still and wait; and as we waited, the comforting and sustaining and restoring of God came in a way we never imagined possible before.
As I’ve been standing still and waiting, I hope you don’t mind me sharing these treasures I’ve been finding in the darkness. God has a sense of humor, and in my perplexity He has planted a lot of information about ‘patience’ this last week. Hence my own amusing title that says it all: I’ve have indeed been learning patience “in a hurry”!