Category Archives: Patience

Wait

wait2017

Friday had been the most difficult day ever. While it started out with a praise service in the Garden, it quickly turned to a dizzying sequence of arrest, skirmish, scattering and disbelief. Then, it was a joke of a trial, a campfire that still didn’t truly warm you, and denial (3 times).

Before you knew it, your Master had been brought before government officials, scourged, mocked, spat upon, and the increasingly growing crowds are screaming for His blood. Yes, Friday was a day you will never be able to forget, no matter how hard you try. The humiliation. The degradation.

The images of your Master being beaten to a bloody pulp, struggling to carry that heavy cross beam up the hill to the place of the Skull are surpassed only by the images of the spikes being driven in His hands and feet just before He is lifted up, high above the city, outside the city gates. There, the Master is hung out to die.

Too much to comprehend.

Hearing His cries of anguish still haunts you. But hearing Him say, “Father, forgive them. They know not what they are doing” is haunting as well.  Forgive them?  Seriously? Then, as the skies grew dark and the whole earth seemed to shake, He gave up His spirit and died.  The Master died. Too much to comprehend.

Waiting, praying for God to intervene, and wondering why He didn’t answer those prayers, now it is Saturday, and the shock has not begun to wear off.  You are numb to your very soul. “Why, God? What possible good could come from this? How could You allow the Master to be crucified?”

You keep praying, but God does not seem to answer. The silence is deafening. You are broken in every possible way. You wait.

Still, no clear answer seems to be forthcoming, so you wait.

Your fellow followers of the Master are scattered, but slowly start coming back to a place with which you are all familiar. Hushed sobs fill the air. No one dares speak aloud. All are wondering the same thing: why? What next? Still, no clear answer seems to be forthcoming, so you wait.

You are exhausted from the events of the past 36 hours, but sleep does not come. More crying out to God, “why, God? What do we do now?” Still, no reply. So you do the only thing you know you can do at this moment. You wait.

You have no idea what is coming next, but you are trying desperately to trust God Who knows all and will work all things for the good. At least that’s what you learned over the past three years from sitting at the feet of your Master. Still, it just doesn’t seem like ANYTHING good could possibly come from the events of the past day and a half. You would LOVE to drift off to sleep just for a respite from the anguish, but sleep eludes you. So, you wait.

Friday is done. Saturday is fading away. Sunday is coming. Wait.

Be God’s.

The Struggle Is Real

Ephesians 6:12 reads:

 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

It is from this perspective that I want to talk about my struggle with weight-loss, and combatting type 2 diabetes. Yeah, those are both flesh-and-blood kind of issues, but the underlying spiritual motivation is the point here.

A couple of years ago, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, having flirted in the pre-diabetic stage for many years prior to that. I know that it is in my best interest to eat a more healthy diet, and to exercise on a regular basis. I have chronicled my journey with Weight Watchers, and I must tell you that IF you follow that lifestyle, the pounds will melt away. I can also tell you that IF you fall off that wagon, the pounds will reappear much faster than they went away.

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The face of a type 2 diabetic in the 30th minute of an ARC Trainer workout.

Six months ago, I was faithfully adhering to the eating plan, and regularly exercising. My weight was down by 20 pounds, my A1c had dropped to 6.0 (the target number is 6.0 or lower), and my blood sugar readings were routinely in the 90’s, and low 100’s.  Three months ago, I was only sporadically following the eating plan, and exercising some. My A1c went up to 6.4, and my blood sugars were creeping up, as was my weight.

 

My most recent visit to the doc revealed an A1c level of 6.7 (7.0 and above is in the “no-no” category), my blood sugars are routinely in the 120’s and those 20 pounds I had lost have found me once again.

The struggle is real.

The struggle is real. When I originally embarked on my lifestyle change it was with the realization that my body is a temple for the Holy Spirit as Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies.

I know that I am not honoring God when I eat out every night and gain weight. I know I am not honoring God when my lifestyle results in elevated A1c and daily blood sugar readings. Intellectually, I know all of this!  I feel like Paul in Romans 7…the things I should do, I don’t, and the things I shouldn’t do, I do. Yikes! The struggle is real.

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The results of the aforementioned workout on 4-7-16

All I know is this: while the struggle is real, I am equipped for the battle. The prayers of those who lift me up regularly, the dragging of my large posterior out of the bed early mornings to go to the gym, and the choices I can make in what I eat are all there to help me overcome this struggle.  It is a spiritual struggle even more so than a physical one, and God is in control. God will be honored. May my life honor Him in every thing that I do.

 

Be God’s.

Patience

patience

 

Everybody needs it. Most of us are not very good at it.  I told people for years that I prayed for it and God gave me three kids. On the kids’ CD “Rappin’ Rabbits Christian Habits” is found the sentiment that he wants it, instantly.

Oh, if it were only so easy and instantaneous. It, of course is patience. Since launching our Life Group last month and starting the study of Arron Chambers’ book, “Devoted” (if you have not read this book, I have only one question of you: “why not?”), God has me wrestling like never before with the need for me to exhibit patience.

Dictionary.com defines the word patience as:

noun

1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation,annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper,irritation, or the like.

2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.

 

With this three-part definition in mind, lets examine what it means to have patience.

1. Having patience means bearing without complaining.

Yikes! I fail at this one on a regular basis.  I far too often catch myself sounding like the “Whiners” of ancient Saturday Night Life fame. I am praying daily for God to help me stop whining. I am asking God to soften my heart towards the sources of provocation, annoyance,misfortune, and pain. I can’t change others, but I can ask God to change me.

2. Having patience means you suppress restlessness and annoyance.

Suppressing restlessness or annoyance? See #1 above. This is a serious daily battle for me. Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and I know that I am God.” Being still is not in my nature. As I further submit to God in my daily journey with Christ, I am working on doing a better job in this regard. I am grateful for God’s patience with me.

3. Having patience means having a quiet steady perseverance.

I am diligently working out the desire to be quiet and steady in my perseverance. Among the readings from the One Year Bible this past week:

Proverb 25:15“Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.”

‭‭To which I responded…Exactly the word I needed to hear today, O Lord. Thank You!

2 Thessalonians 3:5“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”

‭‭And I journaled…I need my heart filled this way, Lord. Thank You for being so patient with me.

I am begging God for patience, and He is giving me opportunity to display patience. May all I do bring Him glory and honor. He is oh so patient with me. How could I possibly be anything less to those around me?

So, what have you done/are you doing to learn to be a more patient person? Any tricks you could share would be greatly appreciated!

Be God’s.