Patience is a virtue, one God seems intent on imparting to me despite my frequent misuse of free will. Yes, I’m guilty of fighting God’s plan. Who isn’t? We say we’re inclined to listen, to yield, to submit, but do we? Really? No is my answer if I’m being honest. At least when it comes to me.
As time goes by, however, I hope to improve. I’m trying. (The best one can do in light of fallen human nature.)
And God in His wisdom, like a master gardener, a seasoned parent, and He who knows how everyone’s story will end, provides the means for me to grow in this virtue daily despite my plans. Getting up in the morning is often difficult as old bones get older. The cold weather is killer, much like old injuries. But, hey, having to roll over gently in order to stand is a great way to begin the day with patience. Forgetting to put the coffee grounds in the coffee maker may flip my trigger when I make it downstairs. The reminder of forgetfulness can be a bitter pill. But if I want that shot of caffeine—and I need it!—patience is the way.
So it goes every day with opportunity coming in one form or another. Around every turn.
The latest turn, one for which I am profoundly grateful, is the opportunity to mend family wounds. I won’t go into detail, but suffice to say that those who love us the most can often wound us the most effectively. The personal nature of personal relationships lends itself to being vulnerable, and sadly, in some cases, the attempt to manage others and forget that God is in charge. The best of intentions can see us misstep and cause great gulfs of woe that can only be crossed by way of grace.
This Christmas, God, in His mercy, visited a miraculous healing in our family. One that has been aided by the confident prayers of a great many to whom I owe the world. Some of my prayer warrior friends have passed during our 7 year sojourn in the desert. Passed too soon by my way of thinking—but God’s ways are not mine. Thank goodness too. These friends, I know, still pray for my family. And I am forever grateful. But will we take this gift and pursue the path of patience? I pray so. I hope so. But with God all things are possible. And if I’ve learned that, then maybe, my impatience was part of God’s designs all along.
In having allowed me to fall, God has taught me a great deal that I would have never suspected. Top of the list is letting Him do with me—and others—as He sees fit, for He knows how best to make me strong. Or leave me weak so I’ll have to turn to Him.
Clever that. Happy New Year!
Guest blog post by Ann Malley
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