Monday, December 23, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Patience


Patient Expectation

A devotional by Glynis Becker

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God.” – Psalm 62:5-7 (ESV)

What did you do the last time you had to wait in line? Commiserate with the people you were with? Grumble? Play on your phone?

Patience is hard. I think that’s why it’s listed in the group of spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23), because I dare say few of us are born with it. I don’t have data to back this up, but my guess is that it’s always been hard. However, with our pace of life and the 21st century instant gratification for so many things, patience is a virtue becoming more and more scarce.

I think the reason why patience can be so difficult is that we have certain expectations and when they aren’t met, we don’t know what to do. For example, when my children were little and we were running errands, I often had impossible expectations of how much time a trip should take. Then when they were rowdy or the lines were too long, my expectation of an easy excursion was unmet and my patience ran thin.

What about in other aspects of our lives? Today, are you waiting for something better for your tomorrow? A relationship? A change in job or financial circumstance? Physical healing? Or what if your expectation is for something unpleasant like the death of a loved one or that dreaded phone call from the doctor?

We spend much of our lives waiting and usually it can’t be helped. So maybe it isn’t what we wait for that defines us, but rather what we do with that time. No matter the outcome of our expectations, we should greet each waiting period with hope.

The Bible is full of stories of individuals and groups waiting for things: Noah expected a flood; the Israelites waited for release from slavery; Hannah, Sarah, and Elizabeth waited for babies; the world waited for a Savior.

All of those experiences happened. They were each beautiful in their redemption stories. But what if the good thing you are waiting for never does happen? What if your expectations are never met because you never got that job or didn’t have children? Does that mean God has forgotten you? Or worse, that He doesn’t care?

Unmet expectations can lead to hurt in human relationships and that is hard enough. What about when we expect things from God and He doesn’t seem to deliver? I do not consider myself an expert in the art of patience, but here are some things I’ve learned during my moments — or years — of waiting.

Gratitude is key. If we can wait with expectation for what we want, but can be content with what we have, we have unlocked the key to a balanced, joy-filled life.

God is faithful. If we truly believe that He is Who He says He is, then we can trust that He loves us deeply and has our best in mind. Even in the hard things, He will bring beauty to our lives and to those around us.

Jesus is present. Everywhere, at all times, and especially in the waiting. Allow His presence to fill that space with joy instead of anxiety and peace instead of frustration. Imagine how beautiful that can be!

Let’s Pray: Lord Jesus, remind me of Your presence with me at all times, especially when I’m hurting. I know you want the best for me, and sometimes that means waiting patiently for answers in Your timing. Help me to understand that in my heart and not just my head. I love You. In Your name I pray, Amen.

~*~
Author Bio:
Glynis Becker writes devotions and inspirational fiction, hoping someday to have a published novel on her resume.

She has co-written several screenplays, including the film Sinking Sand, available on DVD and digital streaming.

Glynis, whose childhood was spent all over the country as an Air Force brat, has called South Dakota home for many years, along with her husband and two teenage children.

When she’s not writing or reading, she is watching more television than she should and crocheting. You can find her at www.glynisbecker.com.

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