Thursday, October 2, 2014

Patience is More than a Virtue

Several years ago, my son went to the same school as one of my coworker’s kids. Our desks were literally right next to each other and our kids went to the same school. The afternoons were intriguing to me as a certain phenomenon would happen over and over again. Here’s how the afternoons would go.

Quittin’ time!! We both would walk out to our cars together and we both would pull out of the parking lot one behind the other. She would speed down the road, weaving in and out of traffic, at times getting far enough ahead of me that I couldn’t see her anymore. I would choose the lane I wanted to be in and stay there.

It never failed! Nearly every day we would end up turning into the parking lot of the school one behind the other, exactly how we left the parking lot at work. No matter how fast she weaved in and out of traffic, it didn’t get her to the school any faster.

I know that we live in a fast paced world. Everything is instant gratification and even that isn’t fast enough. We are always looking for the newest and greatest inventions to make our lives easier. Most of the time, when we say that, we mean that we want something that will get the job done faster.

Why are we so focused on speed? Why is faster better? Why is waiting and patience so difficult for us? Why do we insist on finding a quick fix for our problems?

The truth is, God often asks us to wait, to be patient, to endure until His perfect timing comes. In fact there are countless lessons in scripture that show us that God rewards those who patiently wait for the fulfillment of His promises. There are just as many lessons that show us how impatience leads to disaster and disappointment.

Take Abraham and Sarah for example. God promised Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, yet he had no children. Instead of waiting on God to fulfill His promise, they took it upon themselves to find a way (without God) to have a son. This son that Abraham had with Hagar, Sarah’s servant, and not with Sarah, was Abraham’s son, but he wasn’t God’s promise fulfilled. It was a human solution to a God promise and it neither fulfilled God’s promise nor did it create a happy healthy family environment. Sarah began resenting Hagar and it caused strife in their family.

Abraham and Sarah made poor choices because they focused on the waiting instead of the promise.

Now, let’s look at Jacob. Jacob had a dream and it was to marry Rachel!! The Bible says that Rachel was beautiful in every way and Jacob wanted her! He went to her father Laban and asked to marry Rachel. Laban agreed but only if Jacob worked for him for seven years first. Jacob agreed. Genesis 29:20 says:
“So Jacob spent the next seven years working to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days.”
This tells me that Jacob was not focused on the waiting; he was focused on the promise!

Jacob spent his time working for Laban and although Laban tricked him into marrying Leah first, he did end up marrying Rachel as well. (If you don’t know the story, go read it in Genesis 29).

Where we put our focus matters, and it matters big!! If we spend our lives focusing on our problems instead of God’s promises to us, we are setting ourselves up for heartache. But if we focus on God’s promise to us, we can rest assured that He will fulfill it and we can live a much more peaceful life.

God is asking us to stop weaving in and out of traffic and speeding down the road. He wants us to slow down, stay in His lane, and keep our eyes on Him!

You see, we both made it to the school. It isn’t that I made it and she didn’t, but our journeys to get there were vastly different. Her journey was full of uncertainty and caused anxiety (especially for those cars around her). My journey was calm and peaceful.

Let’s choose the calm and peaceful journey. Let’s make up our minds now, that no matter what is coming our way, God’s way is the best way and He will never fail us. Let’s get in His lane and keep our eyes on Him.

1 comment:

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