Friday, April 22, 2011


              I have never been a patient person.  I hate checkout lines in stores, I get frustrated when people in front of me are too slow for my liking, and I drive far too fast because I don’t have the patience to actually go the speed limit.  I come by it honestly.  Neither of my parents are patient.  My dad taught me how to drive, although he would probably like to deny it now.  When I was a kid, my mother was a speed walker through the mall, and I practically had to run to keep with her.  I never really learned the benefits of delayed gratification; if I want something, I want it now.  I’m also impatient with myself.  I expect to be good at things immediately, and if I’m not (as is often the case), I don’t really have the patience to keep working at it. 
                My impatience is one of the first sins I recognized in myself when I was in high school, so being the good Christian girl I thought I was, I prayed for patience.  In my impatience, I expected that praying for patience meant that God would just give it to me, a little bit like the fairy godmother in Cinderella.  Apparently it doesn’t work that way.  Instead of giving me patience, God has taught me patience.  It’s been a hard lesson to learn.
                God has called me to ministry opportunities that have not been fruitful in any typical sense of the word.  He did not, as I so badly wanted, tell me at 22 what He wanted me to do with my life, and my career trajectory has been more of a winding path than a straight line.  He has not (yet) fulfilled my desires for marriage and children.  He has delayed my wishes for a student-loan-free life.  He has at times put difficult people in my life and called me to love them.  
                God is teaching me to rely daily on His manna.  Like the Israelites in the desert, I only have enough of His grace for today.  I cannot rest on my plans for the future, because my future is in God’s hands.  I am learning, sometimes slowly and sometimes less so, to wait patiently on the Lord, to rest in His sovereignty and goodness, to rely more and more on Him.  He has shown me that I am often the difficult person to love, and I have received more patience from others than I have given.  He is teaching me that He will provide, even if it’s not in the way I expect hope.
 I am also learning that waiting is not always a bad thing.  Not only do I learn more of God’s character in the waiting, but sometimes it’s even fun.  The winding path has been an adventure, and had I received everything I thought I wanted when I thought I wanted it, I would've missed out on that adventure.  There are experiences in my life I would not have had.  There are people in my life that I would not know or would not know nearly as well.  I am learning to be thankful for the opportunities that I have in this phase of my life, for fun trips and random conversations, or even for the ability to spend my Good Friday morning sitting and talking on my porch with Laura. 
This Easter, I am more thankful than ever than no matter what the future holds, God is good in the wait, and one day I will wait no more to see my Savior’s face.  The Lord is risen!    
Happy Easter!

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