Lent Day 19

Day 19 Sunday March 8 – [P] Patience

RO: Only when God is seen does life truly begin. // Every morning when you wake up try saying this to God: God give me great faith today. // We want to ask for our faith. We want to exercise our faith. We want to learn our faith. And when we do we encounter the living God and that’s when our hearts are transformed.

Exodus 20: 1-17

For I, the LORD, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

1 Corinthians 1: 22-25

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength

John 2: 13-25

“Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”

Today Ryan opened the computer and saw the Lenten Calendar so he said “What’s today’s? Patience.” Then basically he laughed evilly, got up, and came over to me. I was sitting on the floor assembling a wood project. He proceeded to repeatedly poke my shoulder with his bare foot while laughing. I sat there and let him do it for about 5 times before I said “Ha-ha. I get what you are doing.” He continued. After a bit more I then said, in a joking way though actually serious because his persistence was indeed starting to get to be annoying: “Dear God, please let me have Patience.” Then he stopped and walked away. I think he thinks he helped me?

Many times when I know I am struggling to have patience and need to have better patience I say to myself “Patience is a virtue… one that I don’t have.” Usually that helps me laugh (on the inside) then relax and actually try to have more patience. But that is usually a situational need for patience — like in a long, slow line at the grocery store.

But there often is a greater spiritual need for Patience. And this is a constant struggle. I often want things in my time, not in God’s time. And while it helps to keep in mind that “all things happen in God’s time” it is hard to have the proper patience waiting for that proper time to come. It can be very disheartening. If we get caught up in thinking “woe is me” or take it to a defiant place and think “God, I do so much for you, can’t you just do this one thing for me?” we risk keeping our relationship with God in the proper perspective. Rather than focusing on our disappointment we should try to reflect on why now might not be the proper time and think about what it is that God is wanting us to see and learn from our “hardship” of having to wait.

This is at least what I like to think about when I struggle with having Patience. A lot of those “bigger ticket” things in life we can worry over, want, and not understand – when we turn to God we want Him to have the answer for us right then and there. We want Him to immediately show us He heard our prayer. We want Him to show us He is working for us. But we need to remember that it is not He who works for us but we for Him.

Our problem with being patient is that it is a challenge to us to wait. Waiting can be hard, especially when it is something we really, really want. When we struggle in this way we need to remember to “Turn it over to God”. We need to acknowledge that we may not ever understand why we need to be patient, but trust that what His will will be done – all in due course.

I am sure you have many things on your mind and held in your heart that you need to have Patience with. God is a great listener; continue to share with Him and ask Him to grant you the Patience you need.

And if life shows us anything every day it is this: Having Patience is hard. From the little things to the big things – some amount of patience is going to be required. It is how we respond to that need to have patience that matters. Do not just sit and wait! Be actively patient! :: Do we turn it over to God and continue reach out to Him in prayer? And do we remember to listen to what He might be telling us in response?

Update: Nora decided to put on her to-do list “Test Mom’s patience” and commenced it at 4:15am (technically on March 9 so I should have been all warmed up by a whole 24-hour consciousness of “patience”). I completely forgot how to have patience and just went back to bed. But Ryan got up with her. Eventually she decided to fall asleep again at 6:00am and Ryan laid her beside me in bed. It was the sweetest cuddle – with her reaching out her hand every so often to touch my face to make sure I was still there. I felt like I got rewarded for not being patient, so that must have been God gently reminding me to make sure my actions match my words. I can talk all I want about having patience, but if I don’t even try to practice having it at times of need then what good is that?

Continue to Day 20