Thursday, November 13, 2014

On Patience...

Patience is a virtue.  The patience of Job. (Ya'll, I have read Job and he was NOT that patient!) Just be patient.  I've heard the word patience all my life and I've lacked it equally as long. Or at least, I thought I did. The truth is, I didn't understand what patience meant until I decided to listen closer to what God had to say about it.

I always thought that patience was waiting for something. Just wait. I don't know what that something was or even what it looked like, but I was waiting. Waiting to be better, to be smarter, to be more successful, to be a better mother, a better friend, a better wife. Waiting to be...more. More of something. Anything. 

If I worked harder, longer, smarter, surely that something would come and so I did all those things, but something was always missing. And so I waited some more.

The problem was that while I was waiting I was looking ahead, as far as I could see anyway. I was planning, plotting, thinking, dreaming, hoping. And sometimes I was mad.

While I was looking ahead and being a little mad, I was missing the beauty, the meaning, of now. I was missing what patience really means and the lessons that being patient brings to the one who is waiting. I was missing that being patient doesn't mean that we always have longing or lack.  

I wasn't waiting patiently. I was just waiting. And in the waiting I missed the beauty, the present, the now. I was missing the gifts of the moment and the heart of what patience really means. I was missing that waiting produces fruit, but the kind of fruit it produces depends on the heart of the one doing the waiting.

Patience means that I stop white knuckling my way through this whole waiting thing and just relax. Trust God. Believe that He has my life, my beginning, my end.  He knows what He's doing and I can stop enduring the things in life that I don't do a happy dance over and embrace every moment as one that He has divinely allowed and let go. 

I am not in control, but instead, He is. I am not controlling anything and I don't have to be controlled by everything. I can let go. I can be patient. I can wait. I can wait with eyes fixed forward, but my heart in the now and still full of hope for the future.

Patience is not self-control and it's certainly not "other control".  It's not biting my tongue, or enduring attacks, holding back every desire or pretending humility in the waiting.  It's turning my life over to God and trusting...all the way trusting....that no matter what happens God is in control and He has got this. It's not judging every moment, every action, every thought. Patience is turning my life over to God Himself, no matter what happens, and being joyous in the release. 

I'm not there yet, but my knuckles aren't white anymore, either. I'm getting there...

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