You have heard the old saying, “I am praying for patience and I want it now!” It is so true in many areas of life that what we need to learn only comes as we apply the principle of patience in our lives. My former professor and pastor often says in regards to people who strive for positions that they are not ready for, “That person has not suffered enough.” He is saying that we desire that God place us in positions of employment that we have not the maturity nor the experience to handle.
One advantage of being in your 50s (yes, there are some advantages other than getting meal discounts!) is you gain a new perspective on life. One is not being in so much in a hurry as once was the case in the younger years. We have come to realize that God is never in hurry, but is more interested in developing our character and our trust in Him. As I look back on the two churches that I had the privilege to pastor I often think, “Why was I in such a hurry?” I missed out on forming deep, lasting relationships with some very dear people. I am now attempting to live that as I pastor the third church God has given me to minister with.
Another of our pastors used to say often, “After a lifetime of studying this verse, I am just now coming to realize what it really means!” There is maturity that comes to us after a lifetime of studying the Scripture when it is mixed with a teachable heart that brings a godly perspective to our lives. I realize that I don’t have all the answers, I realize that others don’t either and we can learn to be patient together as we serve the Lord.
I think of the times that I would get my nose bent out of shape because of a decision that would be made that I disagreed with. How I wish I had the maturity to realize that those in authority over me had a reason and a perspective that I lacked! A friend of mine recently said that the key to not get so caught up in what others think and say is to take care of the 6 feet around me and nothing else. I cannot change what others decide but I can change my response to it!
If you are a young person reading this blog, learn from others, and don’t be in a hurry as you do. If you are older, hold your positions and your decisions with grace, after all, you could be wrong! Learn from your past failures and asked God to form your character through those things.
Finally, James 1:2-4 tells us, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”
That is it! That is God’s goal in your life and mine! I pray that you and I will continue to allow God produce steadfastness so that we depend on His wisdom!