PATIENCE, MY CHILD!

Laurie and I had a conversation about patience the other day. They have been house-hunting for several weeks now, and so far have not found anything that will work for their large family, meet their home-schooling and ministry needs, and fit their budget and location requirements, as well. They’ve come close a few times, but always there is one lacking element—no study for Fernando, too few bedrooms, too expensive, too far out of the city and so on. The one house that seemed to have it all required a huge security deposit which was a problem for them. Someone else agreed to the deposit and so they were accepted and Laurie and Fernando were rejected. Laurie and Fernando were a little disappointed, of course, but still they know that apparently that is not the house the Lord has for them. He has something better for them, and in His time He will lead them to it.
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They would rather not move at all, but their landlord is putting their house up for sale. It is just the right size for them, and they have fixed it up a great deal, but they are not in a position to buy it themselves. The house-hunt goes on, therefore, and I must say, they are having a very good attitude about it, even though this is the worst time it could come when they are so busy in their ministry and it is so frustrating (not to mention expensive and a lot of hard work) to have to make their third move in one year. They are trusting the Lord to put them in just the right place for His purposes.
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Laurie said to me a few days ago, “I just wish we would find something, though, so this would not be hanging over our heads anymore. It’s hard to make decisions for the family or ministry when we don’t know when, if, or where we will be moving in the near future.”
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“Well, Laurie, the trying of your faith—“
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She laughs. “I know, Mom! ‘The trying of our faith worketh patience!’ You say that every time we talk!”
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“I know. And I know you know these things already,” I say. “I guess we just have to realize that when we can’t see the path ahead of us with all its twists and turns and obstacles, the Lord is looking down on the whole path from beginning to end and sees it all. We just have to have the faith and patience to leave it all up to Him and just take the next step on the path, and then the step after that, and step-by-step let the Lord lead us.”
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“Yes. And to tell you the truth, I am so glad we can’t see what lies ahead! We might be too overwhelmed to take the next step if we knew the things that were in our future.”
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“That is what is so great about living by faith. We can see life as a great adventure, if we have faith that God has great things in store for us, and that He will carry us through the hard things.”
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This whole conversation had me thinking about patience and faith for the next few days. I have been praying for Laurie and Fernando in their search for their next home, and for Julie and David as they are on the long, hard road to adoption, that God would give each of them the patience and faith to just rest in Him. Faith and patience go hand in hand. When we patiently wait on God, we are actually trusting God to act for our best in His time; having faith in Him to work it all out. “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.” (James 1:3)
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I have always prayed, from the time that I was a teenager, that I would be a woman of faith. My mother was a godly example to me of this. What I have learned about faith, though, is that it is not something I can earn or develop on my own in my life. I Corinthians 12 and 13 tell us that faith is a gift from God and is not something that I can boast in. I am not a woman of faith because of ME, but because of HIM. True faith is not a result of my spiritual maturity, or dependent on my strength, or a testament to my spirituality. Quite the opposite. We can have faith in God because He is:
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F aithful – He is always there for us. “…for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor
forsake thee.”
(Hebrews 13:5)
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A ble – He can do anything. “…with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
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I nfallible – He is incapable of error, dependable, reliable. “As for God, his way is
perfect.”
(Psalm 18:30)
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T rustworthy – He always keeps His promises, He does not lie. “For all the promises of
God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.”
(II
Corinthians 1:20)
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H oly – Everything He does is good and righteous and perfect. “The LORD is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all His works.” (Psalm 145:17)
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Think about it. Jesus said in Matthew 18:2-4 that we must have childlike faith: “And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” What kind of simple faith does a little child have, say, for example, in his relationship with his mommy and daddy? He takes it for granted that mommy will always be there for him. Daddy is superman—he can do anything! Mommy and Daddy know everything. He knows they will keep their promises and wouldn’t lie to him. Daddy and Mommy are the best!
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Of course, it doesn’t take long for us as parents to stumble off our pedestal, does it? All it takes is for the first time that little one gets lost, or sees Daddy give up on some task, or have a question that Mommy doesn’t know the answer to, or to find out the truth about Santa Claus. We are humans, and humans fail. Thank goodness our kids love us anyhow!
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God, the Creator and Master of the universe, and our loving Heavenly Father, will never fall from His pedestal, though. We can have that simple child-like faith and know we will never be disappointed in Him. We can have the faith that does not depend on what we are or do, but solely upon Who He is, and when our faith is tested and tried we learn patience. James 5:10, 11 says, “Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.” Job endured testing and trials that none off us will ever endure, but he said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.” (Job 13:15) It was that faith in all that God is that fueled his patience.
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Hebrews 11, that great chapter on faith, tells us “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (vs 1) “Living by faith” would not be living by faith if we could see what lies ahead. When we choose to believe God is at work for our best and He will reveal His will in His time, we can rest patiently in Him and all that He is. What a blessed and exciting way to live!
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“Patience, My child! I am working in your life. Be still and know that I am God. I have loved you with an everlasting love. All things work together for good to them that love Me and if you have faith in Me you will see it come to pass. Have patience. Have simple, child-like faith, for I am your Heavenly Father and I love you.”
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