This article began by my reading a guest article on Tricia Goyer’s website. (Stay tuned for a link to that article.)
There was a line in the article that said, “It’s kinda like praying for patience. Never do that either.”
My hackles went up on that one, to be completely honest. Who was this woman to tell me what my faith journey should look like? How could she possibly know what spiritual lesson I need to learn? And why do people keep telling me not to ask for patience?
(The rest of the article was amazing. Amy Matayo had some great points, and I appreciated her insight on faith being hard sometimes. So true!)
Why should I not ask for patience if that’s what I truly need to learn?
I know from experience that if the timing is right, patience lessons don’t have to be feared. But timing really is everything.
Praying for patience is something God asked me to do once. So I did. The journey was harder than I expected it would be—and I knew it’d be a huge battle! There were ups and downs, hard days and good days. Sometimes I thought I couldn’t bear anything more… and then another lesson would slam into my world. But the attitude God blessed me with in the middle of it all was one of hope, optimism, and “I can do this, because God’s leading me and He knows what’s coming and how much I can handle when He’s being my strength.”
One thing I learned through the journey toward patience (other than I have been blessed with a lot more patience than I ever imagined I could obtain) is that even when people tell me not to do something, it’s God’s word that matters. If I’m not listening to Him, then I’m following the wrong crowd. In fact, I don’t want to follow any crowd. I only want to follow God. He is my Leader, and I thank Him for teaching me patience. He knows best, and I trust that because I trust Him.
I’m still learning patience. I haven’t asked for it again for a while, but I still see the lessons on it that God’s pouring into my life. A challenging student in tutoring. An idea for a story that just won’t take form as fast as I would like it to. An injured elbow that helps me remember what pain is and why it’s important to be careful walking by things that are hard and at elbow level. (I whacked my elbow hard on a bookcase while trying to catch a fan that slipped from my grip. I got a tiny scratch of a cut on the surface, but the bruise went all the way to the bone so it’s been very tender this past week.) An aching gap that my future husband has yet to fill (eager to meet you, honey!). All those things—plus many dozen more—add up to practicing patience and gaining additional ability to wait.
The lessons aren’t always easy or pain-free (I’ve bumped my sore elbow probably a hundred or more times in the last few days), but they are working together to deepen my character, to mold and shape it into a more Christ-like image.
Don’t ask for patience. Ever.
It’s something I’ve heard my entire life. I’ll probably hear it thousands more times before my body meets the grave. But it will only serve to remind me:
God’s perspective matters more.
What is God asking you to ask Him for today?
Will you be brave enough to buck human nature and ask Him for it?
What if other people tell you you’re not allowed to ask for it? Will you still do it?
Be brave, my friends. If God asks you to ask Him for something, don’t hesitate. Take the advice in Nike’s catchphrase and Just do it.
Further reading on my journey into patience may be found here (in order of date originally posted):
Spiritual Battles (Rereading this article reminded me that some of the patience lessons were incredibly hard. Let me tell you this: Every ounce of patience I gained was worth every tear I shed.)
Waiting for Wonder by Marlo Schalesky (The giveaway on that page is closed.)
Remember, if you’re participating in my Autumn 2017 Reading Challenge, visit this page to let me know which book you’ve read for each category.
Haven’t signed up yet? No problem! Visit this page to sign up. This challenge goes all the way through December, so it’s not too late to join in the reading fun!