I Need Patience…Now.
James 5:7,11 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord…you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
I am not a patient person. I want what I want and I want it now. This defect expresses itself even when I think I am doing right. When I got out of treatment, I knew I was a changed man. Thirty days (in my mind) had undone years of pursuing self and I was ready for my family and the world to see it. It took a little time for everyone to catch up. My life was a bit of a disaster. I wanted it all changed this instant and it was maddening that I could not affect this immediate change.
It had taken years to get where I was. I had to realize that while, in my spirit life, I was forgiven and clean, in my flesh life, I still had consequences to deal with. James tells me my life is like a seed. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it (5:7). I was as a farmer, wanting to skip to the harvest, avoiding the work of preparation, planting and watering. I just wanted the reward without the hard work.
I still often do this. When I feel discomfort, I ask God for deliverance from it now. I want pleasure immediately so I demand instant freedom from defect and pain. God’s transforming work in me however, is rarely one that breeds impatience by skipping the hard work. I have somehow come to view God as a magician that can provide an easy route to growth and change. He did not make the world (or me) this way however. A blade of grass grows a day’s growth in a day’s time.
I want all the growth without all the toil and pain. God however, says, Be patient and keep your eyes on me. It is going to be hard but looking to your own desires and defects is only going to prolong the misery. Look to me. I will not immediately deliver you from the storm but in me you can find peace, even in the storm. The storm will not last forever.
I want to be delivered from my storm right now but James says this is not what I need. What I need is to wait patiently on God, keeping my eyes on him. In doing so, I can be delivered into God’s presence right now, which is of course, always my most important need.