I’ve been reading about patience. Isn’t it funny how sometimes you get a word or a saying or a message about something, and repeatedly it’s the same word or theme? For me lately, it’s the word “patience.” My daily devotional for Saturday May 9 had this to say:
“Patience refers to being able to accept or tolerate delay without getting angry or upset. It can also mean cheerful or hopeful endurance.”
The devotional’s scripture passage referred to Paul’s letter to the Christian believers in Colossae, praying that they be strengthened with patience and joyful longsuffering:
“We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might, so that you may have great endurance and patience,” Colossians 1; 9, 11.
Then, in my devotional “Through the Year with William Barclay,” guess what the title was for May 10 – “Patient God.” This devotional was speaking about prayer. Professor Barclay talks about nothing too small to take to God, nothing too private to take to God, nothing too shameful to take to God, and he quotes John Baillie as saying: “If a thing is big enough to worry about, it is big enough to pray about.” William Barclay closes this daily devotional by saying:
“The great fact about God is that he knows the human situation because in Jesus Christ he fully entered into it, and therefore he can understand. Of all things about God maybe his patience is the greatest thing. He loves each one of us, as Augustine said, as if there was only one of us to love.”
Then, sitting on my desk, staring me in the face, cut out from a calendar or a card with a message I liked and kept, are words which speak – again – of God’s patience:
“The God who made us what we are knows what we desire to be and waits with infinite patience while we become what we can. We, on the other hand, know that whatever we need to become all that we can be, this same great and loving God will supply. For all of that, we are thankful. From that gratitude grow love and commitment, faith and trust, wonder and worship.”
And so, dear readers, we woke up this morning to see snow. Is winter never going to end? And we’re still confined to our homes. How long is isolation going to continue? We want to get to the stores – we need to fix up our homes and our gardens! We have repairs, chores, and tasks that need to get done! Patience, patience, patience!
Can we just believe that God knows? That God cares? That God is in the midst of all this? Can we just get on our knees, cry out to God with our woes and our needs, and believe that God hears us, is working through things for us, and will get us through?
Let’s pray about it. The closing prayer for my devotional Saturday May 9:
“Dear God, strengthen us so we can wait patiently with a sense of grateful expectation. Amen.”
Blessings to all, keep safe, keep well, and practice patience! Rev. Mary