Patience, what's that?
Okay, we're all familiar with the cliché: "patience is a virtue." It was practically engraved in us from the day we were born. Phrases like: "you just have to be patient", or "in due time"; what does that even mean!? The list perpetually goes on of settings that require patience...waiting. Ugh! We had to wait to drive, wait to vote, wait for that acceptance letter or job offer, and much to our frustration many of us are still waiting patiently for (insert here).
It can become very disheartening when patience turns into forfeited faith or isolation from our desires.
I made the choice of asking God for patience. Which then lead me to a grueling list of men who where not exactly what I wanted to arrive upon-and yet everything God knew I needed; funny how that works.
My friend Job
Talk about being put to ultimate submission to ones faith and hope for Gods promises. I'm not going to falsify the moment after I read this; quite embarrassed to be honest. But SERIOUSLY.
If you haven't read any stories regarding patience, I wouldn't recommend starting with this one. I'm pretty sure I looked up at God with a "COMMON, really?!"...but nonetheless I took away a considerable amount of wisdom
Job is a wealthy man living in a land called Uz with his rather large family and "extensive flocks"...he lived in abundance. He was quite the man- considered “blameless” and “upright,” always cautious to avoid doing evil. God thought highly of Job.
Naturally, Satan thinks otherwise, and wants to use this man God claims so righteous to prove God wrong. Claiming the sole reason this man is submissive to the lord is simply due to his bountiful life.
Well dear friends...God allowed Satan to strike adversity upon Jobs life-this is when my jaw dropped.
When I got past the scarcity of it all and pursued God's overall message, the lessons we can learn are quite humbling and much to my surprise-liberating.
Patently unfair, yet immensely faithful
Through Job’s trials, he loses everything important to him yet remains faithful to God. Let me say that again, he lost EVERYTHING.
The purpose is to illustrate God’s sovereignty and faithfulness during a time of great suffering...seems horrifying, right?
Job, like many of us, was counseled poorly by friends during this time. They mistakenly blame his sufferings on his personal sins rather than God testing and growing Job-we all fall into this category of "there must be a reason."
One of the difficult things for us to accept is that many of the sufferings we go through simply cannot be neatly categorized. The "why" is often elusive. So what does all this have to do with patience, you ask?
Trust in a season of anguish
Job was in despair. His whole life had been turned upside down. He had lost his wealth and his loved ones in a series of sudden events. The only hope this man possessed resided in God.
When we ask for patience more times than not it's because we either aren't receiving something we want or we're having a difficult time understanding a particular situation. We pray and pray for the patience that God will unveil whatever it is we are deemed to know...while patiently awaiting his master plan.
Job was frustrated because he could not make sense out of his trials. Yet in the depths of perplexity and despair he made one of the most profound declarations of faith recorded in the Bible-Job never lost faith in God.
The season of waiting
The lesson that struck deep in my heart throughout this book was how insanely self-seeking I can be. When struck with adversity we're quick to examine the reason followed by a solution...because we "wanna have it all figured out."
When we begin reading the book of Job we learn that, while God allowed Satan to afflict Job, He set limits beyond which the devil could not pass-meaning God is ultimately in charge, always. Not only that but God focuses on the bottom line. He wants us to become like Him! Job was an honorable man however, like all Gods children, he had a flaw. The Scriptures say Job’s problem was that “he was righteous in his own eyes and that “he justified himself rather than God”...there was a lesson that God wanted Job to learn, throughout this season.
Am I saying God will strike down on your life to teach you the ultimate lesson of patience or faith; absolutely not.
However if you're anything like me, patience and waiting is not your strongest trait. I question anything and everything; wanting answers like now! I can think of countless times where I lacked trust in God and grew weary, with the little things!
Then I met Job. A man who not only was tried with patience in God but relentlously surrendering every spect of his life over, intrusting the Father would keep true to his promises.
And he did!!!!! -God rewarded Job twice the estate and blessings he ever lost! My selfish, anxious, pity party was suddenly over.
"Now the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning” (42:12)
I admire Job, quite honestly I'm envious of him. How quickly we become consumed with the lies of our anxious minds. Job came to really know God deeply during this season of patience, not simply to know about Him. He became a far more humble and compassionate man as a result of what he went through-isn't that what it's all about?
It's humbling to know God knows, he knows you're waiting. But what are you waiting for? His ultimate plan?...
"Delight yourself in the lord and he will give you the desires of your heart" ~Psalm 37:4