God Made Me A Patient Man

"Looking back on the last few years I have come to understand something about myself.
It is this:

 

God has made me into a patient man.

 

On the inside at least.

There are those who would disagree.

 

I know this because the year before I was a person who could have made very rash and stupid decisions. This last year I wasn’t that kind of man.

 

Patience is something I’m pretty sure I have never consciously asked for. Mainly because in asking for it I know that I will be faced with something that will cause me to have to be patient.

 

It is a very painful process.

 

And God made me a very patient man.

 

I know that I am patient because I did not make a lot of decisions that I wanted to. Decisions that would have changed my life, and maybe the lives of others, in a less than positive way. There were so many times when in the midst of my fear or anger I was so tempted to do something, and God would whisper, “Hush. I have given you another day to live. Tomorrow will be different from today, and better than it looks right now. You have another day to see the difference. Wait, and I will show you a better way.”

 

So I waited. And He did.

 

And God made me a very patient man.

 

I used up a lot of Grace. Boatloads, as a matter of fact. Supertankers even.

 

It is my abundant good fortune that God does not put a quota on it.

 

It was in making me patient that He allowed me to see that I was, in fact, extending His Grace to others through me. Because Grace is all about Christ bearing the consequences of our sin, is it not? And I am not in a position to extend the consequences of someone’s sin on to their shoulders am I?

 

Many things did not go according to my plans or expectations. Maybe someone didn’t do something the way I wanted, or circumstances turned against me. So, I made other plans to make up for it, and once again found that my ability to control anything is insufficient. So things went differently, and wound up being just as good, or better, in the end.

 

And He said, “Hush. I have given you another day to live…"

 

So I just moved forward and did what God needed me to do instead.

 

And God made me a very patient man.

 

I discovered that the only real things of any value I have to offer anyone, and that I have any control over, are my love and my own integrity. I realized this year that my patience kept these things intact.

 

Years ago a friend once told me, “The things God calls us to do are very often those things that are the exact opposite of what we are naturally inclined to do.”

 

Patience has never been an automatic, or natural, response for me. It is something I learn on a continuous basis. I think the difference now is that I expect to learn it. I already know that I will be “naturally inclined” to do something differently, and so I will wait and look at the opposite response.

 

In the coming year on those occasions when I find myself sitting in that room of unfulfilled desires and failed expectations, and I spread my tears upon the dusty floor, God will whisper once again that ever present refrain, “Hush. I have given you another day to live. Tomorrow will be different from today, and better than it looks right now. You have another day to see the difference. Wait, and I will show you a better way.”

 

And I will continue to be the very patient man God made me to be.

 

By Dan Bode
Board Member, Elder