WEEK 4, DAY 28: PATIENCE
The book of Romans includes a topic that most of us don’t like to think about—waiting with patience.
“…Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” (Romans 8:24-25)
Years ago I heard a pastor say that if you pray for patience, you will find yourself in situations that require you to learn patience. Since my young adult life had already given me plenty of opportunities to practice patience, I decided I sure didn’t need to pray for more. But that didn’t stop life from adding to my stash. Have you ever felt that what should be a brief season of waiting became your everyday norm?
As I currently plod through times of waiting. I find myself asking a question you might also ask yourself, “How do I persevere when so many longings have fallen into the not yet or even the no category? How do I continue living with purpose and joy when some of my strongest hopes have been denied?”
And I answer, sometimes tiredly with a sigh, “Follow Jesus. Obey Him. Serve others.”
Then I ask myself further, “And what would I do right this moment if all my hopes and dreams instantly fell into place? What would my role in life be? What would I do if I no longer had to endure this time of waiting?”
I answer again quietly, “Follow Jesus. Obey Him. Serve others.”
Sure, it might not look exactly the way it does right now. The variables would be different. But the core purpose of our lives would still be the same if we were suddenly delivered from our wait.
The pain I experience from long periods of waiting is still there. The disappointment I feel over unfulfilled dreams is still there. The sorrow that pricks my heart over unanswered prayers is still there. But we can find comfort in knowing that whether or not our long-held hopes are fulfilled, we awake each day to the same purpose: Follow Jesus. Obey Him. Serve others.
TIME TO CONTEMPLATE:
- What is a particular area of your life where you are waiting or persevering?
- In what specific ways can you follow Jesus, obey Him, and serve others as you strive to wait with patience?
Dear Jesus, help us to trust you fully and patiently with those parts of our lives that keep us waiting. Open our eyes to how we can follow you, obey you, and serve others, no matter what stage of life we find ourselves in. Amen.