Working through this “verse of the year,” is not a walk in the park. Don’t get me wrong. I know its necessary and growth means being uncomfortable, but this is an action packed verse for sure:
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2
I’ve already talked about being completely humble and being gentle and please notice I did not say I conquered these things…I simply talked about them. I’m so thankful that God loves us right where we are and not where we should be. He loves us today, now, in our current state of mind. He loves us when we make progress and grow but He loves us just the same if we are standing still.
Well, here we go! Patience. Who naturally has patience? Not too many of us on planet Earth have an overabundance of patience. We’ve all probably heard the idea that you should be careful to pray for patience because then God will send learning opportunities to you! Well, as scary as that is it’s probably a good place to start.
Patience is a virtue and I like how it follows right after “completely humble and gentle,” in this verse. These are three different attributes but they do seem to stair step to each other. Completely humble starts with that state of mind that is needed to move to the gentleness we are commanded to have. Once we are on the road of humbleness and gentleness and looking at the world through this lens it does seem natural to move, in that frame of mind, on to patience.
Our pastor preached a series on “waiting,” at the end of 2016 and it really hit home for me. I was waiting for my book to be finalized, waiting for people to edit it and suggest corrections, waiting for this process to come to completion. I was done and ready for it to published but others had to proofread it so it was all it could be. I had to be patient. I had to wait on God’s timing. He knew when it would be ready and I was on a “need to know” basis.
When God has us in a waiting period he has our attention. I truly learned more about myself during this time then the whole time I was writing the book. He had my attention. I was begging Him for direction, for clarity, for contentment in HIS timing. I had to be alert and ready but I had to be still and wait on Him. God is faithful and part of my journey, with writing my book and every other journey He has me on, is to be patient.
Often, we are called to do something. God guides us. We listen. We follow. But, usually the way we picture things happening is not the way God has in mind. We forget to be patient and watch. We forget to wait for Him to act and guide us towards the next step.
Alright, I will pray for patience. I will stop and listen and wait for Him to answer. And He will.