Being patient does not come naturally for me.
I don’t play the piano today because I didn’t have the patience to practice.
I don’t like to sit in the doctor’s waiting room; for it seems there are countless other things I could be doing that would be a better use of my time. Nope, in those waiting rooms, I’m not a very patient patient.
I’m not very patient when I pray, either. I pray about a situation or an event or something that’s been bothering me. If God doesn’t answer my request my way in my time, then I snatch it right back from Him. I’ll try to fix it myself, which sometimes ends in disaster, or I’ll commence to worry and fret about it, which always ends in disaster. I’m so impatient when I pray that I demand God “fix” my prayer request NOW! (Kind of presumptuous of me, don’t you think?)
Once I suffered from severe, debilitating migraine headaches. I couldn’t sit or eat or even stand up without becoming violently ill. Sleep was impossible and relief was unattainable. I would lie in a darkened room and moan and cry from the pain. I felt like white hot knives were being driven into my head. At one time the pain was so intense, I was hospitalized and given a powerful drug that should have put me into a coma, but barely reduced the pain level. I remember lying in that hospital bed, praying and begging God to make the pain go away. But it didn’t go away. For months, I was in agony, and for months I prayed for God to remove the pain.
As the months passed, I found I could no longer pray. I had to find new words to ask God to take care of this situation. So, in the dark rooms, I had no choice to listen — listen to God speak to me about suffering. Remember all of Job’s suffering? Yet Job learned that suffering draws us away from worldly cares and pressures and forces us to focus on God. Just God. Suffering can bring us to God. Slowly, I emerged from that painful time. I had a new perspective on what was truly important, a new compassion for those also in their own dark places, and a new relationship with God. None of those things would have happened if I had not gone through that dark and painful time. Now, I try to live by the command found in 1 Thessalonians 5:17: “Pray continually.”
My dear readers, if you are in a dark and painful place now, rest assured, God can use your pain for His purpose — to bring you closer to Him. Go to Him, pray to Him, listen to Him. Meditate on His word for encouragement and guidance. Be patient and remember this one thing about God: His answers to your prayers are rarely early and never late. His answers come right on time — on His time, that is. Pray expecting God to answer.
So, all together now, let us pray. The answer is coming. Wait for it ... wait for it ... wait for it...
Verna Davis, author and speaker, writes in Frankton. She can be reached at Vrdspeaks@yahoo.com.
Being patient does not come naturally for me.
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