I have never been a patient woman. (I can practically hear my mother snorting as she reads this, because nobody knows it more than her. Sorry, mum…) My whole life, I’ve never liked waiting for things. I sat an exam at university only yesterday and wasn’t out of the theatre for more than an hour, before I was asking my flatmate when he thought we’d be getting our marks. I am a fan of the instant, the accessible, the unanticipated.
And this is something God has always been trying to change in me.
I think, if I’m honest, my desire to know everything immediately comes from a place of anxiety. When my mind is made to wait, it does not like this. Having to be patient means not knowing, it means being uncertain, and there’s no telling how long I will have to remain in this limbo until the answer has been given or the event has reached its outcome. It involves a lot of trust; in the people around me, in myself, and in the Lord.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5-6
Often when things happen, I question, ‘Why would the Lord put me through this? What’s the lesson here?’ and I can do nothing but cling to what I know and love about the Lord and wait – until He chooses to reveal the answer to me. Sometimes that answer takes mere hours, but sometimes it’s months. Sometimes it’s years.
But I believe virtues are like muscles. You have to exercise them. And God gives me these instances where patience is required to exercise these muscles, and help me grow into the young woman I need to be. It gets easier with practise, but I’m not done yet. Even now, there are important things in my life requiring, hands-down, the most patience I’ve ever had to possess.
For the past three months, my relationship has been long-distance while my boyfriend trains at a performance academy in Adelaide, Australia. And while I am overjoyed for him having the experience of a lifetime, we have never been apart for this long and I miss him terribly. I have found the waiting extremely difficult, and often wish I could fast-forward the next few weeks until Christmas Eve instead of going through them. All of which is very revealing to me that I, still, have not learned how to be patient. I feel I would find this so much easier if I made my peace with it all –accepted the situation for what it is right now, safe in the knowledge it’s not forever, but it is for right now.
“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” – Genesis 29:20
Also, many good things have come out of this period of waiting, for both Greg and I individually, and as a couple – things that would not have happened had we not gone through this experience together, and I wouldn’t change any of them for the world. At the time of him leaving I had no idea why God wanted us to do this, but now I think we’re both learning why.
But learning that has taken patience. It has taken waiting; letting events unfold in their time, as God has intended for them to. It has taken trusting Him, and trusting that when things are meant to happen, or when things are meant to be given to us as gifts by Him, it is when He wants it, and that through the period of waiting we have been made into the people He has intended for us to be before we can receive our gifts.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4
So, this is where I am right now. In a period of waiting, learning to be patient.
I think the one thing I’ve learned most of all is that God can give us opportunities to learn things – be taught by him – but if we resist and fight against them (e.g. wishing for time to go faster instead of accepting my current situation) it only makes the situation worse. We learn nothing, and we’re not trusting in God’s ways – because we don’t like them, don’t agree with them, think our plan or how we want things to work out is better.
We must accept what He is telling us and let Him work in us. He needs us to learn these things for a reason, befitting to His purpose, and we must learn them.
Let’s be interactive! If you’re comfortable doing so, comment down below an area in your life where you struggle to be patient. Reassure me that we’re all the same, because we are. We all struggle with these things; they’re just shown in different ways for each individual life. Nobody is perfect, showcased wonderfully by the fact that I’ve still got a countdown on my phone for Christmas Eve…
Speaking of which, Happy December, folks! I’m off to open my advent calendar!
Kate (Tales of Faith) – 01/12/18