Sunday, Augusta 24, 2008
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
I went home over the weekend to visit my family. Today is Sunday, so naturally I had to drive back to my apartment in my college town tonight. It use to be that when I'd get ready to go, my 4 year old niece would start to cry (and occasionally she still will)… but she would ALWAYS cry when I got my things together to drive back.
It was about 5 o'clock this afternoon when I gathered my things to go home...I had been waiting for the rain to pass… and finally it had stopped, so it was time to head out. Natasha, my niece, had just awakened from a nap. So I gathered her tightly in my arms and began to kiss all over her darling little face and I said, "Aunt Ran has to go now."…. She said calmly, "Ok, Aunt Ran…I love you."… No tears.
Now, it's not that I wanted her to cry for me…. after all, I don't want to make my baby sad… it's just that when she cries... I KNOW that I'm still wanted there.
Well, I went to hug my Mama goodbye, and she hugged me back and told me the usual… "drive safely". Well… THAT WAS IT… no one was going to cry over me. So guess what…. I BEGAN TO CRY!!!!
I just started to weep, and I fell back into my Mama's arms and I told her how much I didn't want to go back to school. Then the truth of my life came pouring out. I cried in my Mama's arms and I told her how I'm just DONE… I'm SO tired of school; I'm getting so burned out…. I've already been in school 17 years of my life, and although I've got just one more year left... JUST ONE MORE left… I'm so ready to be finished.
It's not that I want to stop… I don't, I WANT TO FINISH...I WANT my degree… I just WANT it to be NOW….
After I gathered myself together I hugged my mom and my niece again (because, if you're from the South.. a goodbye isn't a goodbye unless you've hugged a minimum of three times. ) Then I went and got in my car…. And before I could go I had to just talk to God. It was DIRE that I let Him know where I stand. So I began to pray to Him. After I felt content again, for the most part, I turned the key in the ignition and then I backed out of the driveway…..honked my little horn to say "goodbye" ONE more time…. and began my three hour drive back to my apartment. And on my drive back…. God responded to my cry.
I must tell you, I had the most Brilliant idea of getting an audio Bible Study, because it just ROCKS on my long drives. So, I'm listening to a Beth Moore Bible Study called Living Beyond Yourself... it's awesome. But, what's more AWESOME, the Lord used the message today to speak to me.
Beth's been teaching over Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
The lesson today was over Patience…..and, wow.... let me tell you,… that is the flavor of the fruit that has been sour instead of sweet in my life. I'm just gonna be honest, I am an impatient person. In fact, when I heard this message today, I KNEW I wanted to write about it, because it was convicting and blessing me both, and I KNEW I had to write my thoughts about it…
AND DO YOU KNOW that the Lord had THE NERVE…. To give me the urge to "write" about this…30 minutes into my drive!!!!!! I still had 2.5 hours of driving to go, and here I was about to pop, because I was just itching to write my thoughts down, but I had no choice, HE was MAKING me wait!!!!
Patience……was the lesson He was speaking over me.
I want you to check this out with me….By doing some research (from my mental notes that I took in my head)….. I've learned that there is a Greek word that translates into the English word patience… the Greek word is Hupomone which has a meaning of inspired by hope. Isn't that awesome?!?!? Patience that is INSPIRED BY HOPE!!!!
There is another important Greek word that Beth taught over called makrothumia, which is patience inspired by mercy (which is the one, in context, is the type of patience that is require in the Fruit of the Spirit). But in my case and the one that is most often associated with patience… the one that spoke to me was Hupomone.
After researching ... I've learned that Hupomone is perseverance, endurance, and putting up with different circumstances because we know that there is some type of beneficial expectation, so it inspires us to endure….to press on.
Do you LOVE that?!?!.... Well, it's gonna get better…hold on to your horses for a second…When you relate that with the Lord it just BLOWS you away. It did me!!
The Lesson referenced back to the testing of Job. Job had the patience inspired by hope… as we remember in Job 19:25, Job states "I KNOW that my Redeemer lives, and he goes on to say in Job 23:10… that when He [the Lord] has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
So, when I heard that, I remembered the analogy of a Refiner and gold. I remembered that I'm still in the refiner's fire. I WILL BE FOR A WHILE!! In fact, I may not ever get out of the fire until the returning of Jesus. In fact, I don't want to get out of the refiners fire until I see a reflection… but if I see MY reflection in the gold…. I know I'm not finished yet….. His work won't be finished in me until I look into the gold and see Jesus staring back at me. Until I see THE REFINER'S reflection!!! Isn't that great stuff?!?!?
So, going back to my lack of patience......and relating it to what the Lord is speaking over my personal situation with school. …. He speaks James 1:4 to me.
Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Did you catch that with me? Time makes us mature and complete. Perseverance calls for patience… hupomone is inspired by hope….the practice of patience helps us to persevere in circumstances, which allows us to complete something that has been lacking in us.
I know that I am READY to graduate and move on with the next step of my life… but God wants me to know that He has set this year before me for a reason. A Godly purpose. Who knows what He has planned for me…..but I've been given the inspired hope to know that His will….will be done.
Now, just because I've written this... doesn't mean that I feel 100% more patient about getting through this next year. After all, it takes "practice." That is because society today doesn't know what it's like to just wait. In fact, WAITING is the hardest work we've ever done. But we must never think for a moment that our "waiting" is just idle…. God has chosen us all for something bigger and "He who began a good work will be faithful to complete it" Phil 1:6. We have to just do the work of being still and trusting God to lead us in His path to righteousness. There is a season for everything, and I have a strong feeling that this season of waiting will be building my character in Christ more. In fact…I'm convinced.
I've learned over the past 8 months that we have to look to the Holy Spirit to guide us in every situation. Particularly in this situation, because the world has lost all sight of patience….. just look at the self-checker outers and the pay-at-the-pump gas stations. It's funny…even with the convenience of those we still will tap our foot if we have to wait in line. Convenience never produces character…. The Fruit of the Spirit does ….we just have to have patience to continue on…to persevere. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. James 5:11
I said in the beginning that before I left my Mama's house, it was storming and I was waiting for the rain to pass. How PRECIOUS is the Lord to reveal Himself to me, to touch my heart in such a wonderful way!! Because…I'll tell you, I waited for the rain to pass, and as I was driving…the Lord blessed me with the beauty of a Rainbow.
So it is best to have patience and just go through the season…because when it finally passes…. The Rainbow of the Lord will shine through, and we shall be blessed.
Therefore, as God's CHOSEN people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and PATIENCE. Col. 3:12