N.B. God's been nagging at me to write this blog for a good few weeks, so here it goes. Please be patient with me, I am very tired.
So it just so happens that I've been thinking about this topic ever since I found the picture of the hour glass, and picked the bible verse below because I felt it fitted with what I wanted to say - and it just so happens that the below verse was the core of Sunday evening's sermon, so I thought I had better get me skates on and publish this.
Patience is one of those things that is so hard to have, and yet, demonstrates a love and a trusting for what God is doing in one's life. I've often thought about this when praying for things, wanting to say 'If it is your will' afterwards, to reinstate to myself that I cannot control what happens, but must wait for the Will of God to take its course. About five years ago, I was given a small piece of card at Christian Union with the following words on it:
"In your way and in your time, thats how it's going to be in my life.
And though some prayers I've prayed, may seem unanswered yet,
I will wait, and I will not regret the time, because in your time there is rest."
I have always remembered those words, and have tried, to the best of my ability to apply them to my life. When trying to decide what to do on my Gap Year, I waited an awful long time for God to tell me where to go. And He left it pretty late, but it was the right time. I arrived at the placement church I was supposed to be placed at.
I love the scene in Evan Almighty where God (Morgan Freeman) is talking to Evan's wife about what God does when people pray for things:
"If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other? "
At Youth Group on Saturday night, the youth were being pretty rowdy and rude to me, and instead of demonstrating a cool, christian adult-ness and keeping cool, I lost my temper after about twenty minutes. (I'm suprised I lasted that long...) In hindsight, I can see that that may not have been the best way to handle the situation, and it reminds me that although it takes a lot to get me angry these days, I am still susceptible to losing my temper, and that I need to practice my patience more readily. God brought that situation to me to allow me a chance to demonstrate Christian patience, but boy, did I blow it.
The sermon was talking about how as Christians, we must strive to go that extra mile to live a life that is humble, and forever demonstrates patience. If there is someone we do not like, or get on with, not only must strive to get on with them, but we must demonstrate our love for them as best we can. There are a few people that God has put on my heart tonight, and throughout this week whom I have been trying to avoid because I know I don't get on with them very well. This passage reminds me that being a Christian means going the extra mile for our neighbours, but most importantly, being loving and humble about it.
I pray tonight that God will bring more situations into my life that will allow me to practice my understanding of the ineffable love that is ours through Jesus Christ.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace."