How does a microwave society with instant mashed potatoes and frozen TV dinners teach patience to our young people? The law of the harvest teaches that we reap in a different season than when we sow. Kudzu seems to spring up over night but it doesn’t endure through the winter. In contrast, there are beautiful oaks where I live that are hundreds of years old, they have endured droughts and hurricanes. Do you want your life to be characterized as ephemeral kudzu or a mighty oak?
You must realize that there is a cumulative effect to investing small amounts of effort in certain activities over a period of time. This can be a deceptive concept because there are rarely any immediate consequences for neglecting single installments of time in any area of life. Patience is a virtue that is a willingness to become what we can be, not a readiness to accept what we are. Are you willing to become all that God wants you to be?
Friedrich von Schiller wisely observed, “Only those who have the patience to do simple things perfectly will acquire the skill to do difficult things easily.” God’s desire is that we would be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ,
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
Notice that we are being transformed, that indicates a process. Saint Frances de Sales wrote, “Have patience with all things but first with yourself. Never confuse your mistakes with your value as a human being. You are perfectly valuable, creative, worthwhile person simply because you exist. And no amount of triumphs or tribulations can ever change that.” God knows what He’s doing – His desire is that you would be like a mighty oak. The person who delights in God’s word, “. . . will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers” (Psalm 1:3). May you trust in Him, having patience with yourself, knowing that He is growing you in His time.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:5)
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5