I have never been a patient person. I hate waiting in lines, and impatience with slow progress has always been a weakness of my leadership.
However, over the past year or so, I have felt God calling me to patience. That has been “God’s word” for me in this season. I have meditated on patience, and I have worked and thought on patience. I have prayed for patience, and I have asked others to pray that God will give me patience.
Amazingly, it seems that God has begun to answer those prayers. When I prayed for patience, I’m not even sure I expected any sort of answer. But it seems that God has been slowly - of course! - maturing my character by growing the fruit of patience in me.
I still feel that I’m looking at this issue of Kingdom Patience through a fog, circling it like an elusive beast in the woods. I’m sure it’s there, but I’m not really living it yet. I catch glimpses of it through the mist, but I can’t quite catch it or even get really near it.
So today, I sat down to pray, and my prayer surprised and frightened and encouraged me:
O God, I feel like I’m just getting acquainted with your Patience. We are just beginning to become friends. I’m walking with Patience more, but Patience hasn’t yet become part of me.
Spirit of Patience and Grace, I want to invite you in. But in truth, I’m terrified of you. You will wreck my identity and knock all my trophies and plaques to the floor. You will step on all my books and start a bonfire with each plank of my self-proving-worth, so we can roast marshmallows and warm our toes on a cool spring night.
You are my Mysterium Tremendum. I long for you, and I am repulsed by you. You will wreck me and save me in the wrecking. I want to invite you in, but you know the words would be hollow.
So please, let’s sit on the porch and drink iced tea and watch fireflies so you can soften my defenses, sooth my fears, and relax my insatiable clinging to control. Stay with me through the sunset and let your Breeze brush my face and ruffle my hair. Liquor me up with your Love, and maybe - if we are both lucky - I will invite you in for a nightcap and you can have your way with me.