Yesterday I found out that I get to practice patience for 2 more weeks.
A month has crept by since I interviewed for a French-teaching job in Asheville. As the first candidate, I was prepared to wait a few weeks. But after 30 days, and with the blessing of my husband, I emailed the head of the middle school. Result? She has one more teacher to evaluate and then will make her decision.
Imposed waiting has given me time and motivation to study the biblical context of God’s commands to endure, trust, wait, hope, pray, and expect as well as to inspect the quality of my attitude that surrounds these actions. Am I obeying God in a peaceful manner or anxiously, with quiet confidence or desperate frenzy?
What I have realized is that this waiting period is God’s gift to me. It’s a personal, tailor-made course in how to take the long view of God at work. God is actually offering me the opportunity to try Him, to take Him at His word and see if I come up short. And God is SO confident of His own character, that He is risking nothing. It’s as though He boasts, “Go ahead, try me, see for yourself if I am sufficient for you this day and each successive day when you DON’T see any way forward, when you DON’T see any results, when there ARE NO OFFERS on your house and NO JOB OFFERS yet or Mike’s FIRST CLIENT has yet to show himself. And I think He actually trusts ME to accept the challenge to lean on Him and prove to myself and to my watching friends that He is reliable. As G.K. Chesterton quipped:
“The problem with Christianity is not that it has been tried & found wanting……… but that it has not been tried!”
When the early church was facing her own trials, James encouraged those young believers to trust his older half-brother Jesus and what He had promised, waiting patiently while relying on God’s characteristics: (James 5: 7-11)
7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. 10 As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. 11 Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast. You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.
As Mike and I round the corner of our last 6 weeks in Virginia, my take-away TODAY from this experiment with God’s faithfulness is this:
HYPOMONE – the Greek word (Strongs # 5281) for endurance. HYPO means under and MONE means stay.
I am to STAY UNDER God’s provision this day. He gives both MANNA for the day and MERCIES for the day. Both fall under His day-tight, measured-out provisions of grace, long ago stockpiled for each of my days.
If I run ahead of Him in my mind to the ‘what-if’ tomorrows, I run out from under and away from His provision.
Isaiah knew whereof he spoke when he counseled in 26:3,
“God will keep you in perfect peace, if you keep your mind fixed on HIM.”(my paraphrase)
It’s a choice – fix my thoughts and mental energy on my worries/circumstances? Or fix my thoughts & mental energy on God’s character, God’s promises, and God’s past dealings with and provisions to both those in the Bible and me.
So thank you, Father, for this good gift of a trial. You’re training me to be a stronger & more effective spiritual athlete. I’m a runner in Your race, chasing hard after the prize. Jesus, my champion and coach, dances enthusiastically at my side, all along encouraging me. This is the hilly part and I’m running hard. If I take my eyes off of You, I’ll look at that incline and grow tired. So help me! Remind me to thank You for how You’ve already provided. Remind me to take comfort in Your guarantee that Mark records in 11:24 –
Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you are receiving it, and it will be yours.
So THANK YOU for:
· My future job
· The right buyer for our house
· Those clients for Mike’s business
· The provision of our future house
· Our new church family