I have been dealing a lot with myself recently in the area of patience. Those of you who know me, I'm sure that's not a shock to you. I think I have a pretty good amount of patience with other people, but I find myself in very short supply when it comes to myself... or even God. I know, and fully believe, that God has an ultimate, sovereign, and perfect plan for my life. Yet, I seem to always want to side-step or rush it along to get to the good parts. Just like a good movie or book, let me get to the good parts! Sure give me a good prologue or lead in... a little bit of back story and character development... but give me the goods!
I think all too often we as Christians (or maybe it's just me) want to jump ahead to the good parts. Jer 29:11 " For I alone know the plans that I have for you. Plans of good, not evil, to give you a future and a hope." I want to get to the good future. Gimme my future and hope now God.
I think unless we take a step back from ourselves we miss the simple fact that the real work God is doing is not in what we are going to do in the future, or what we will accomplish, or even in who we will touch. The real work of God in each of us is in what The Father is doing in us today and now.
In dealing with this inner-struggle over the past few weeks and months I have spent a lot of time in prayer about his topic. One day last week I had a breakthrough. I finished praying in my car, went straight to my pc at work, and wrote this down. I hope that it is as encouraging to you as it was to me:
"Just as a grape on the vine is rippened and perfected not by the sun, rain, and nutrients from the earth, but with these elements working through the passage of time; God perfects us, His chosen children, not solely by the elements around us, but with them through the passage of time. Though we are given salvation and sanctification instantaneously, the process of perfection, giving ourselves completely over to the rule of righteousness takes a life time. We must learn to be still and wait for the Master gardener to pull us from the vine when He is ready. Just like the grape, if we pull ourselves from the vine before we are fully rippened and matured, we will be hard, bitter, sour, and leave a bad taste in people's mouths. When we have the care of the Gospel and the charge to save the souls of mankind, we can not make the mistake of misjudging, misstepping, or just missing the timeline of our lifetime."
- Just a thought