20 June 2005

Patient Patience

Twice over the weekend, I was confronted with my ineptitude for waiting on the Lord. The first was while praying for patience. The second was the sermon this week which happened to be on the attributes of God specifically infinitude. When I'm floundering about in a vain attempt to be patient with the flow of the world it can be hard to pull myself back into quiet subservience. My own puffed-up sense of self-importance obscures the reality of my insignificance. Like everyone I tend to revert to thinking about The Plan. You know, like in Jeremiah 29:11 -- For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Exactly how screwed up is my perspective that I can make the assumption that because the Lord has a Plan for me, I must be entitled to know what it is? So egotistical can I be that I just take for granted that I can somehow figure out or understand this Plan. Just because there is a Plan doesn't mean I'll ever be able to comprehend it. After all, my purpose is to bring Glory alone. 1 Peter 4:2 -- As a result, he does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. I'm not called to understand or judge the ways His Glory is manifest. Only that I strive to make His Will my own. One of my favorite verses Ephesians 6:6 makes this clear. The interesting part of that is how quickly I can erroneously go from Will to Plan. Will is a finite moment, a measured activity, and purposed response. A Plan is the execution of a series of pre-meditated activities; the prolonged exercise of Will. Keeping in focus that my purview in its greatest extent might only glimpse His Will, makes service possible. God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things which we cannot comprehend. -- Job 37:5 As I bring this full circle, it becomes more clear why I struggle so with patience. Hebrews 10:36 -- You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. It's hard to have patience when you don't know the game plan. If you can't see more than the Now; if your focus shifts from His Will today to guessing His Plan for tomorrow, you undoubtedly lose your footing. When we take our eyes off the present, off the tasks at hand; that is when we most vividly feel awash in anxiety and worry. Suddenly our false sense of the control conjures up concerns of every kind. We find ourselves doubting, wondering, wandering. With a smug sense of satisfaction I put away my pettiness. Patience will have to be patient. I have His Will today, and that's enough. 1 John 2:17 -- The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

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