My One Word (M.O.W.) this year is: PATIENCE.
It definitely wasn’t my idea to choose PATIENCE. You know what they say about those who pray for patience… God will certainly answer and give all who seek to be more patient, an abundance of opportunities to practice!
But Patience it is.
I have been asking the Lord for at least a couple of years now, for several very specific things. When I take the time to quiet my heart and truly listen, the answer I have been consistently receiving in recent months regarding these requests is:
“PATIENCE, dear one.”
His powerful voice when it speaks to my heart, while inaudible, is always gentle, kind and… well… full of patience.
I am so thankful the Lord is not impatient with me… as I can too often be with Him and with others. His patience truly knows no bounds and for this I am exceedingly grateful.
But this answer, “Patience, dear one,” is not the answer I want to hear. Like the impatient and ignorant child of His that I am, I want Him to give me the things I’ve asked for, and to give them to me now.
But I am wholly unaware of all the good being accomplished during this season of waiting, not to mention all the ill-effects that might come should He give me the things I ask for according to my timeline, rather than His.
And He knows best. Of this I am certain.
What is fantastic and all-together surprising about this particular response of His, is the hope it has given me that what I have been asking for, is in fact, on it’s way.
So how does being told to be patient give me hope? I’m glad you asked!
Have you ever told a child who is eagerly waiting for something, to be patient when you know full well what the child is waiting for, will never arrive? I haven’t and know I couldn’t so deliberately get a child’s hopes up only to watch them be bitterly disappointed in the end. I am confident the Lord, being the perfect Heavenly Father that He is, can do no less. As Jesus explains:
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” -Matthew 7:9-11
He not only gives good gifts, He also knows the perfect moment at which to give each gift. While I still have moments (and let’s be honest, entire days!) when impatience overtakes me, there is great comfort in knowing that hope from God is always a sure thing. It isn’t a wistful, “maybe, someday…” but a sure guarantee. As Paul explains:
“And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. – Romans 5:5
and again, regarding hope, he says:
“For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” – Romans 8:24-25