Today I have to go into the city for a procedure on my kidney. It only takes thirty minutes, but it takes me an hour to drive there and an hour home. Then there is check in, prep, and recovery time. The next thing you know the day is gone. Over the years I have discovered, what Ruth already knew, I am an impatient man. I hate standing in lines, waiting in traffic or sitting in hospital rooms. Sometimes, and I’m ashamed to admit, I think everyone in life is slowing me down from getting to where I want to go and at the speed I want to get there. It’s easy to be selfish. But, what is amazing to me is how patient God is. He never rushes me, or shoves me, or pushes me. Instead, He leads me and encourages me on my journey.
God is patient as we move along our spiritual journey. He seeks us and I might add, never rests until he finds us. His promise that He will never leave us or abandon us, unfortunately doesn’t keep us from drifting away from Him. Yet, through His patient love, the Holy Spirit keeps seeking us, drawing our attention and our acceptance to His great love. Our spiritual journey is simply to follow where God leads.
This is not always easy. Sometimes we don’t understand the signals and directions God gives. We are like the disciples and many things go right over our heads. But God is patient. He will swing around and come at us from a different direction until one day we understand the lesson we need to learn, and then we move on.
Understanding that our spiritual life is a growing experience, our failures in life shouldn’t be seen as failures. We learn from our mistakes, and I believe that is one of the greatest ways we grow. The next time you face a problem that seems overwhelming don’t crash and burn, instead, take the situation to God. He has big shoulders and can carry your burdens with ease. What seems impossible for us is not impossible with God. If you’re anything like me, you can look back on some of the greatest trials in your life and realize that those trials actually helped you grow. We all know the stories of great people who tried and failed over and over until one day they succeeded. That’s how it is with God. He works on us until one day we listen. God is patient.
Think about Moses, Abraham, David, Noah, Jonah, Paul, and a host of other Bible characters who were called to do great things for God, and failed, but God kept working on their hearts. He knew inside their fear, disobedience, and indifference were people that had the ability to accomplish great things. So instead of throwing in the towel and calling it quits on these characters, He just kept leading them until one day they understood and followed.
“This is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him for that day.” 2 Timothy 1: 12 Paul, the persecutor of Christians, had learned what it meant to trust in Christ. Instead of hatred of Jesus, He now was His most devoted follower. Paul learned that God could do anything including changing his heart. God is patient with our plodding along, but He is able to make us much more than our wildest dreams. My prayer, Lord let me remember I’m on this spiritual road with other people and this isn’t all about my comfort. And may I be as patient today with my circumstances, as you are patient with me. Amen