Saturday, February 1, 2014

"Patience smooths away lots of difficulties."

 Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them - every day begin the task anew. - Saint Francis de Sales

Scripture Text: (MK 4:35-41)
On that day, as evening drew on, Jesus said to his disciples:
“Let us cross to the other side.”
Leaving the crowd, they took Jesus with them in the boat just as he was.
And other boats were with him.
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat,
so that it was already filling up.
Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion.
They woke him and said to him,
“Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”
He woke up,
rebuked the wind,
and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!”
The wind ceased and there was great calm.
Then he asked them, “Why are you terrified?
Do you not yet have faith?”
They were filled with great awe and said to one another,
“Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?”

Where were you when we needed you?

Like the disciples, perhaps you also feel that you have been kept waiting too long for God to respond in your life. It may seem like Jesus is asleep at the helm, deaf to your cries. You may even want to rebuke him for taking so long!

When it comes right down to it we all want good things to happen in our lives, but too often we want it now...not later. When it doesn't happen that way, we are tempted to ask, "When, God, when?" Most of us need to grow in the area of trusting God instead of focusing on the "when" question. If you're missing joy and peace, you're not trusting God. If your mind feels worn out all the time, you're not trusting God.

God wants us to live by discernment and providence, not head knowledge. It's difficult to exercise discernment if you're always trying to figure out everything. But when you're willing to say, "God, I can't figure this out, so I'm going to trust You.” That mindset will give us peace," then we can be comfortable in spite of not knowing. Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. We often say God is never late, but generally He isn't early either. Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives. 

Here's the point: What's important for us to know is that there is certain timing to what the Lord does--and I might add; His timing is usually not our timing. Isa 55:8-9, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

Though we may not understand God’s timing, we should be glad that He sometimes makes us wait before He accomplishes His will in our lives. There are reasons for the way God works in our lives and for what He does on our behalf.

Keep on praying, confident that Jesus never passes by anyone in a storm. He has his own timing, wisdom, and plans.

In the familiar story “Footprints in the Sand,” a writer dreams about walking along the beach with the Lord, making two sets of footprints that merge into one during life’s most trying times. “Why, when I need you most,” the author asks God, “have you not been there for me?” God answers, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints is when I carried you.” 

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