Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If I Was Meant To Have Patience...I'd Have Been A Doctor!

I've always thought of myself has having patience. I somewhat taught myself to knit (couldn't quite remember the knit stitch and how to cast on that I learned when I was seven), though I did get a little help from one of the ladies at work when things didn't seem to be working out. Mind you, I used some tutorials as well, to get a little help. But, it wasn't an easy process - especially using the double pointed needles to make socks and mittens!

When I'm teaching someone how to knit, I have lots of patience. When I'm working with the kids at school, I have a good amount of patience. When I'm waiting for someone (unless I'm in a great hurry), I tend to have patience.

But, when it comes to some things, I'm not patient at all. I want it now; I want it yesterday. And, my mantra of the day becomes "If I was meant to have patience (patients), I'd have been a doctor!" (Ok, so it sounds better than it looks written out...because you don't have to show the spellings of both words...)

This morning I was doing my Bible reading, like I try to do every morning. Once again, like I usuall do, I asked God to show me something, reveal something to me, help me get something out of my reading. I don't always get something, but I think I did today.

I started reading Genesis again the other day, and today's chapter was on the flood waters receeding, and the ark coming to rest on Mount Ararat (chapter 8). We are told that Noah, et. al., endured 40 days and 40 nights of rain;  that "the water prevailed upon the earth one hundred and fifty days" (Gen. 7:24); that the waters came in the second month, and in the seventh month "the ark rested upon th emountains of Ararat" (8:4). The waters then "decreased steadily until the tenth month" (8:5) It was at this point when the tops of the mountain became visible.

So, quite a bit of time has gone by at this point. In verse 6, we read that it was another 40 days that Noah sent out the raven. After that he sent out the dove, which returned to him. He then waited seven days before sending out the dove again. This time it returned with the olive leaf. The inhabitants of the ark did not leave then; instead, they waited a further seven days.

All in all, it took a long time - "In the 600th year of Noah's life, in the second month on the 17th day, the rains began. (Gen. 7:11). When Noah was 601 (the first month on the first day), the water dried up from the earth. In the second month on the 27th day the earth was dry and Noah was told to leave the ark (Gen. 8:13-16). I'm sure it required a LOT of patience from the 8 members of the ark. Can you imagine the smell that came from the ark with all those animals and even the people, with no bathrooms??!!! I would think that situation would either help to create patience or drive you insane.

So, that got me to thinking about Abraham and Sarah having to wait a long time for a child; Hannah and Elizabeth also waited a long time to have children.

And, ultimately, the greatest test of patience - waiting for the arrival of the Messiah (Jesus)! And, now we wait patiently for Jesus to return.

God's timing is not our timing. What seems like a great deal of time to us may only be the blink of an eye for God. And that's where I tend to get frustrated.

In my own life, there are things I'm still waiting for, and though I don't know if I'll ever get them, I try to be patient. I try to tell myself that God's timing is perfect, and I just need to wait patiently. But, saying is a lot easier than doing! In all honesty, there are times when I feel like giving up. And, admittedly, I say at times that I am giving up on something, but then I find myself going back and starting the waiting process over again - just in case.

Patience can be something I struggle with, but I try to keep my focus on the Lord, and not me or whatever I am waiting on. Like I said though, it's not easy to do!

What is something you struggle with?


Michelle said...

i can certainly relate to the patience thing. My daughter has Aspergers and its just a very trying thing for me to deal with some days. She has become better with certain things. One area she still struggles immensely with is hygiene. She's gonna be 12 in a few days and although she has come so far, she still needs someone to be the fire under her, to remind her how to get ready for school or whatever. Today I noticed a gigantic snarl in her hair and just the mention of it, she started crying and sobbing. We both knew it was gonna hurt to get out. And I was willing to help her get out. So I went in her room looking for a comb. The girls both told me they had cleaned the room, but as I started searching, I realized they did no cleaning. They just shoved junk in bags and hid it in their closet! I was so irritated. I started ranting and raving. And to defend my stupid actions, I must tell you that I have sat with them and showed them at least 40 times how to clean that room. Once a month I do it and once a month I get extremely mad because it is not done correctly. And when I see that I'm talking into thin air, I grow impatient. Now I know how God feels about me...let's be glad He deals with me much nicer than I do my kids :(

Shelley L. Snyder said...

Thanks for sharing and being so honest, Michelle! That definitely sounds frustrating. I have a feeling I'd probably act very similar if I were in a similar situation...

Pia said...

being patient is really hard to do. we have to have God's grace to be able to wait for His perfect timing. i've been waiting for something to happen for four years now. i'm waiting because God said that His Word will surely come to pass, but it's not easy to wait. i get irked waiting sometimes. but we have to decide not to give up while waiting for Him. i mean, we can't have a yoyo attitude when we wait. we all feel like giving up at some point in our lives but we just have to remind ourselves of His promise to us (especially when we got a Word from Him about that thing we're waiting for). i guess that's why we have our blog friends. we encourage each other especially on hard times.

Shelley L. Snyder said...

Thanks for your comment, Pia! I think you are right about us not having a yoyo attitude while waiting. Great advice!

seekingpastor said...

I struggle with getting aggravated at very small, insignificant things. Some. Not a lot. I guess that is similar to struggling with patience.

Shelley L. Snyder said...

Maybe the two go hand in hand...we get aggravated at things because we lose patience with it...