“The Work of Patience”

27 06 2009

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“I waited patiently and expectantly for the L-rd; and He inclined to me and heard my cry.” –Psalm 40:1

“Any time you become frustrated and start trying to make things happen on your own, it is a sure sign you are not being patient with G-d. You need to practice waiting on G-d and let Him do what He wants to do, in His way and time. The best definition of patience I have ever heard is “to be constant or to be the same all the time, no matter what is going on.” Patience is not merely waiting; it is how you act while you are waiting.

The hardest thing most of us will ever have to do as Christians is wait on the L-rd. You will undoubtedly have to wait on many things during your lifetime. Waiting is not optional. But it is during the waiting periods of life that the most powerful things will happen within you.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Patience is definitely one of the most challenging virtues. Worry and lack of patience are pretty often paired. When we get impatient with G-d and His coming through, we start worrying and trying to come up with our own solution. Worrying is essentially our minds chewing on ideas, trying to come up with a solution that we can enact now. The degree, to which we are remaining in this mindset, defines and displays our trust in G-d. We worry, because despite His sacrifice and faithfulness, we are still concerned that He might not come through. He gives us so many blessings and we can’t wait, nor do we live like we believe He wants good things for us. A simple comparison is looking at my dog. I love my dog more than most anyone else in his life. Everyday, I walk downstairs, praise him and affirm him, and affectionately greet him. Since he was a puppy, I have looked out for him and he has never gone hungry. Yet, when I give him rawhides or bones, he is afraid that I will take them. I scratch my head and say to him, “I just gave you that bone…. why would I try to take it back?” I think sometimes G-d must scratch His head watching how we respond to His love and gifts. He showers them upon us, yet we don’t want to wait and feel the need to look out for ourselves. Unfortunately, I think this is part of our human nature that we will have to fight. I think context is important…. the chapter before our verse of today is the psalmist crying out to G-d. Desperate and at the end of his patience, but then the next chapter he is celebrating the L-rd’s provision. The L-rd will come through and will do so in better ways than you could yourself contrive. Remember these wise words when you start to worry—‘Worrying is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.”

One step at a time,
Mere  🙂

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Fiery Trials

15 06 2009

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“Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer.” –Romans 12:2

“I’ve heard patience defined as “a fruit of the Spirit that can be developed under trial.” Really, you cannot develop patience any other way. That means the only way you can develop the fruit of patience is by being around obnoxious people who drive crazy; waiting in backed-up traffic; waiting in endless grocery store lines; waiting for breakthroughs; waiting for your healing; waiting for people in your life to change; and waiting for yourself to change. Be patient with yourself! Be patient with your own spiritual growth. Be patient with G-d if He’s not coming through at the time you’d like Him to. Be patient with people; be patient with circumstance. Be patient because in patience you possess your soul. James 1:4 says that the patient man is perfect and entire, lacking in nothing.” –Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right

Patience is definitely one of the hardest spiritual fruits to cultivate. We know that it is very important and thus we desire it, but in the moment, patience is quite a difficult trial. Some days, I feel like asking G-d if I can work on a different spiritual fruit for a while like: joy, love, and peace. But if we think about it, all the spiritual fruits are difficult depending upon the situation. I think it has to be that way. Our spirit is in a battle between our human desires and trying to assimilate our desires with His. Because if we are honest, if we are choosing to live under our flesh’s desire then we would prefer not to live by the fruits of the spirit—we don’t really want to love some people in our lives; we don’t want to be joyful when we are having a terrible day; we will keep on worrying about things before choosing peace; we don’t want to be patient and wait; We don’t always want to be kind, especially if we feel wronged; we don’t always want to choose goodness, sometimes sin is pretty appealing; sometimes we want to be abrasive, instead of gentle; sometimes we don’t want to be faithful anymore; and sometimes we want what we want regardless of whether our self is controlled. I think the important thing to realize is that we can’t cultivate these qualities on our own; we must ask for G-d’s intervention. When we surrender to His plan, we may start to develop some of the traits, but we must be prepared for the firing process. I have heard it said that the best things in life were attained through tears and pain. A verse that really has carried me through a lot of the firing process is Romans 8:28: “For we know that in ALL things, G-d works together for the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.”  The key is that we trust that everything will be for our good and pray for His intervention through the process. Prayer is powerful. Don’t forget that: “”…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16). “‘Have faith in God,’ Jesus answered. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, “Go, throw yourself into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins'” (Mark 11:22-24).”

Don’t just pray as a backup plan,

Mere 🙂





Let G-d have Control!

2 06 2009

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 “Aim at and seek the [rich, eternal pleasures] that are above…And set your minds and keep them set on what is above…not on the things that are on the earth…kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire…[and all that is earthly in you].” -Colossians 3:1, 2, 5

     “It is a natural desire to want to be in control of your life; however, it is not an attainable goal. Assuming you can control all the people and situations that come into your life is an unrealistic expectation–and one that leaves you frustrated, angry, and exhausted. G-d has a good plan for everyone that includes a life far superior to anything the world has to offer, but attaining it involves dying to self. G-d relentlessly pursues the flesh–our human nature–and is intent on setting us free from its control. The process of letting go and giving up control can be painful, but the end result is worth it. So let go of control and let G-d be G-d in your life.” -Joyce Meyer

I also came upon a quote that I wanted to share with you:

“Worrying is like a rocking chair; it gives you something to do, but it doesn’t get you anywhere.” -anonymous

G-d has shown himself to be faithful and so why should we doubt Him now? It’s easy to say that we give control to G-d as long as things are going as we want, but the defining moment is when something that we don’t like happens. G-d sees our lives and His scope of vision allows Him to see how everything will play out. Despite the fact that we know that He can see everything, we still try to reach for control. I think that the key is that we have to live in continual surrender. I have heard people talking about taking up your cross daily or daily surrendering to G-d, for me personally, I think it has to be a moment by moment surrender. Some things in our lives are easier than others to surrender, but we have to trust that G-d loves us more than we love ourselves and desires our best–a goodness that is beyond our comprehension.

Step at a time,

Mere