“How do we wait for God? We wait with patience. But patience does not mean passivity. Waiting patiently is not like waiting for the bus to come, the rain to stop, or the sun to rise. It is an active waiting in which we live the present moment to the full in order to find there the signs of the One we are waiting for.
The word patience comes from the Latin verb patior which means “to suffer.” Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants. Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God’s glorious coming.”-Henry Nouwen
Today is the big day of our Salvation Army concert/fundraiser here in Austin. If you don’t know about it, look it up and come out with us. It’s at Life Austin Amphitheater and doors are at 5:00. Big music from Jack Ingram, Pat Green, Drew Womack, and Walt Wilkins. In addition there will be some seriously incredible auction items! And I mean it! The stuff they’ve got for auction this year are crazy awesome! I want to buy all of them myself!
But I digress. Patience Cory. Patience. This is a difficult word for me. My whole life has been all about me. Patience is a virtue and I didn’t know what that meant, nor did I want to. I figured that if I made enough money and had enough power, that I wouldn’t have to have patience. I could get what I wanted when I wanted it. And I did. I was, and still am, a pompous ass. I look back at the way I treated friends, family, coworkers, employees, and I cringe. I ask for forgiveness. Some will and some won’t grant it.
Today I am learning about this thing called patience. Today I am realizing that it is a beautiful and amazingly powerful thing. With patience, one can see ALL opportunities that lie ahead. It helps block out fear of the unknown. And this part I read above about “tasting to the full” all of life’s blessings while suffering the wait with patience. Well, wow! What a concept!!! To have an attitude that sees situations, easy and difficult alike, as opportunity, is amazing!!! I want that!! I truly want to be the man that is joyful and hopeful and thankful in ALL circumstances, seeing God’s hand on all the works around and thru me. Seeing how there is purpose and planning and redemption and growth in all of the happenings in our lives, that’s the stuff Christ came for! See Him in all situations! Find Him in all circumstances! Realize the truth and you can see it everywhere. Believe it and you will be walking on clouds with a knowledge that is enlightening. You can see with eyes that few others have ever known exist. I say that I want that. I have had that! I have! I want it again and again. Only He can give me that, though. And only I, by giving up my tight grip on the “my stuff” of this world, can gain access to it. It is the contradictory principle that only by letting go can one obtain more. To be first, we must be last. We must give up all to gain eternity. God’s way is mysterious. I for one am mostly grateful that it is. Mostly because I am human that I don’t want it to be so that I can make sense out of it and have handle on what He’s up to. And mostly not because, Who wants to believe in something that one can figure out and maybe attain on one’s own? What kind of beauty is there in it if I can figure it out? Not much.
Today is opportunity for each of us to be patient with one anther, suffering in the wait while tasting the glory that is surrounding us, while being changed from the inside to be a clearer picture of the kind of glorious grace that was intended and is yet to come. I don’t believe we can get where we want to go without giving up what we think we need to get there. “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God…”
I apologize for the lengthiness of today’s post. I’ve been inactive lately and that usually means I’m struggling a bit more than usual. This morning has hopefully broken a wall and lifted me up into a better place to receive His love fully.
Help me Father. Help me let go of that which blinds me and makes it appear that I would be taken from the sight of you. Thank you for your unending pursuit of my heart! Thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for patience. May I be willing to live in the moment today, practicing patience, suffering in it, while tasting the fruit of your grace and love. Amen!