“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
I don’t like to wait. When I want something, I want it yesterday. It’s safe to say that I was born that way, because impatience has been a life-long struggle for me. When I was in grade school, I wanted to be in high school and when I was in high school, I wanted to be an adult. When one birthday was over, I was ready for the next one. (Of course, now I just wish the birthdays would slow down). As an adult, I still don’t like to wait, especially in traffic. I’d rather pluck out my own eyes than be stuck behind someone who refuses to do the speed limit. Patience is not one of my strong points, so you can imagine my reaction when God told me I had to wait.
I lived for the world for a long time and I’ve found that the further you get from God, the longer the trip back is; a few years ago, I thought I was almost home. I knew that God had plans for me, but I was still in that “Are you sure it’s me you want?” stage and was wrestling with my decision. I fought with God until I was both physically and spiritually exhausted and was completely miserable. I gave up; I said, “OK God, I’m yours. I’ll work for you.” His reply came to me quickly (I liked that) and clearly, “You’re not ready.” I didn’t like that at all.
It seems that God had a lot to teach me in preparation to do His will. The most difficult lesson for me has been that God doesn’t work on my time. I think of it as obedience training, because many times I’ve felt like a dog on a short leash. I’d want to run ahead into something I wasn’t ready for, but each time God would pull me back and say, “not yet”. It’s taken a lot of being smacked on the nose with a newspaper for me to understand that if I want to serve the Lord, I have to do what He wants, when He wants and that sometimes I have to wait. Patience is not something I was born with an abundance of, but it is something the He asks of me and a gift He has given to me. God’s requirements sometimes seem strict, but He doesn’t ask anything that He isn’t willing to provide, and I’m sure the retirement plan He offers will be worth it.