My friend and I were just driving through the rain from Virginia back to D.C. We were talking about our characters before and after we became Christians. And you know what? God is so patient with us that it is amazing.
I used to be an emotionally distant person. Vulnerability to me meant weakness. I was prideful; I still struggle with that. And so on and so forth. God was still willing to work with me and to work on my character. We take the word patience out of context. We tend to equate it with “waiting.”
When a parent tells their eager child to ‘be patient’ they don’t actually mean ‘just wait.’ Being patient means quietly and steadily persevering; bearing misfortune. delay, hardship, pain, with calm and without complaint or anger. Is that not what God does with us?
God doesn’t just wait for us to come around. He works diligently with care, grace, and love to get us to where he wants us to be. I think that it is not coincidence that 1 Corinthians 13:4 defines love first as being patient. God has put a lot in my path that has required me to be patient. He has revealed to me the extent of my pride and how I hold impossible standards for myself and others.
To be honest it has been quite frustrating. I am hurt and I do not want to be patient in my pain and confusion. But what other options are there? I read in Romans 12:12 today to “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.” For those who are unsure–like I was–affliction means to be in a state of pain, distress, or grief. I have definitely been in both emotional distress and grief for reasons that are unclear to me.
As the scripture says all I can do is be faithful in prayer. I continue to pray to God to help my heart and the heart of those that I worry and grieve over. In time I hope the clouds of confusion will pass. Le sigh, this journey is not easy.
Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NIV):The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride.