November 22, 2019
Let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2
There I went again—reaching to remove my seatbelt half a block before I arrived at my house. The many tasks that faced me were whirling around in my head, and I was impatient to tackle them. Reminding myself that I could not get out until I actually came to a stop, and that the unbuckling process would only take a second, I settled down and drove the final block with my seatbelt securely fastened.
Often, waiting is an uncomfortable but necessary exercise in patience. A baker, for instance, knows that taking bread out of the oven before it is completely baked will yield doughy bread; he simply needs to wait those extra few minutes. Similarly, when we bite into a piece of fruit that was picked too early, we understand afresh why patience is a virtue.
Certain situations, however, seem to have a vague point of termination. One old-fashioned pie recipe says to bake an apple pie “to the right what-ness.” Now, those instructions are fine if you have a general idea of how much “what-ness” might be required. But if you do not, then the waiting game can also become a guessing game. (Thankfully, some pie bakers have discovered the “right what-ness,” so we know it exists and we can keep trying!)
The concept of waiting for the correct amount of time is not too difficult to grasp, but enduring for an open-ended timeframe is one of the more challenging facets of any trial we face. Perhaps you have received a promise from the Lord that He will save a certain loved one, and have prayed for months or even years for that soul to be saved. Even though you know the Lord is faithful, sometimes the wait grows long. But many have testified that after years of praying for the salvation of a husband, for example, he prayed through to real victory. Prayer with patience works!
Our personal relationship with the Lord will grow as we allow patience to work in our hearts. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is not only the Author, but also the Finisher of our faith. This implies that He not only gave us a portion of faith, but that He wants to bring it to the proper “what-ness.” The trials of life that come our way are allowed by Him, and can lift us to the right spiritual plane if we patiently allow the furnace of trials to do its work.
Your particular trial may be an illness or infirmity that has dragged on and on. Or maybe you have other difficulties that seem insurmountable. During troublesome circumstances, it may be difficult to keep a correct perspective, but we can always trust that God knows the timing of each detail of our lives. Hang on to His promises in faith, and you will reap the benefits of patience.