“Lord, give me patience, and give it to me NOW!”
It is a human inclination to want what we want when we want it. Often it is difficult to wait patiently, especially when the desire is particularly strong. Patience seems to diminish as the significance of what we are waiting for increases.
Being a part of the church requires a lot of patience. We are all working toward the same goal: the Reign of God on earth. And yet it just seems to be taking such a long, long time to get here! And it certainly is a significant thing we await; one might say the most significant. And so it’s no wonder our patience runs thin sometimes.
Patience is also a counter-cultural phenomenon. The world rushes from goal to goal, always chasing the faster, bigger, higher things. One of the biggest industries in the world is the fast food industry, emphasis on the fast. Microwave ovens are ubiquitous, heating up food for us in a fraction of the time we used to. Internet providers highlight their super-fast download speeds. Digital devices are automatically better if they are faster.
On this backdrop, the work of the church seems to move at a snail’s pace. We want to know that we are making a difference for Christ in the world, but when we look at the world it is really hard to see any difference. Sometimes it even feels like we slide back a few feet for every foot of progress we make.
Patience. Be patient until the coming of the Lord. Love is patient. The Bible teaches patience, clearly. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, after all.
This week we’ll take a look at where we are as a congregation, and think together about what the year 2023 has in store for us. Our journey requires patience, and we need to be realistic about where we are so that we can patiently move to where God is calling us to be.
We’ll get there, I know. We just need to be patient.