June 17, 2012

Waiting and Patience

We are moving. We took possession of a new home on Friday, about seven minutes from where we live now. However, the moving van isn’t coming for a few weeks. Our plan is to move slowly, taking the small items in our vehicles until this house is down to mere necessities, and then moving it all. 
This plan is suited to our time and physical abilities (or lack thereof) but it does not suit my patience. I would like everything to be transported, put in place, and livable, right now and with very little effort. I’m not good at waiting, and am particularly scattered by the lack of routine during this process.

Yet I know that waiting is an important virtue. God reminds me that when He asks me to do something, waiting could be involved. Patient waiting is certainly part of the space between His promises and their fulfillment. On the other hand, impatience is like a child that “wants what I want when I want it” but maturity is characterized by being able to wait. I need to be a grown-up through this and trust God. 

As I do, I am aware of His commands and promises. Today’s devotional verses remind me that trust and obey are always part of what it means to be a Christian. Even in the beginning, just after Jesus died and rose again, He met with His disciples and gave them a command and a promise.
And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, “you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4–5)
These first followers of Jesus knew about baptism and the Holy Spirit, but I’m positive that they had no idea what Jesus was talking about, and if they did, they were challenged to trust and obey Him. Their faith was strong, but involved such changes in their lives. Some may have been in excited aftershock that Jesus was alive. Some must have felt confused and worried about what might happen next. However, they did what they were told and obediently waited. It was not many days later that Jesus kept His promise.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. (Acts 2:1–4)
Waiting for a moving truck and an organized home is nothing compared to what happened to these believers and what they waited for, yet the waiting part is the same. It requires trust, a patient and settled heart, and obedience. When my focus is on the Lord and His faithfulness, no matter what I am waiting for, I can be calm and instead of fretting about future events, do whatever He asks regarding the tasks at hand.

Lord, life is always full of opportunities to practice patience. Fill me with Your Spirit so that I am calm and unruffled, joyful and ready to do the next thing. Lead us through yet another transition in our lives and grant us grace, trust and obedience throughout the process.

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