There’s a take that song: “have a little patience.” I think God sing-screams this to me on a daily (if not hourly) basis. Impatient may as well be a middle name. I hate waiting! I hate wasting time! If I’m passionate about something, I want to see the results straight away.
I’d describe myself as a very active person: I study hard, socialize a lot, exercise daily, and run around like a mad woman trying to travel as much as possible in my spare time. I can withstand 2 months without having a sleep in, and even then, I’m up and ready to go by 10am!
I want this to be true for my walk with God to – I want to pursue an active faith! Since an early teen, I’ve been passionate about serving God, using my gifts, and speaking out to others. If there’s anyone around to hear, I’ll open my mouth and speak. Yet this desire, to proclaim God’s name leads to a certain impatience…
With 6 months to go until my 18th birthday, I’m at a cross road in my life. I’ve felt called to serve as a youth leader at events and local groups for about 4 years now, but I’m still not quite old enough! I’m itching to serve, and in the meantime, my impatience is driving a sense of worthlessness. The thing is, no matter how much I try to do in the small, everyday, friendship world where I am, I can’t help but criticize myself for not doing enough! I just want to do more, to see results, and to let my faith shine – I desperately pray for more opportunities… time and time again…
Already, I can hear God’s small, still voice prompting me, “slow down.” His loving whispers that remind me, “You are my precious daughter – your passion will be honored, but first, learn to rest in my unconditional love!” It makes me laugh sometimes… How we easily forget the basis of our faith – Christ’s sacrifice. A compassion that only requires our acceptance! We cannot earnt it.
However, this doesn’t seem to dampen the flame in our hearts, that seeks to stand, speak, and proclaim Christ. We love God, and want to share Him with the world – right? I have plans to attend camps, youth events, and even gap year programs! Yet again, I’m impatiently waiting, for God to fulfill the plans that He has already revealed to me…
Impatience is something I need to rid of. How is it bad? Because it causes us to degrade our value, forget the blessings of today, and fall into the temptation of not trusting. My desire to see results, can get the better of me – daily, I tear myself down over my blog, simply because after almost 3 years, there aren’t as many readers as I would have liked. Nowhere near the world’s success level.
My impatience clouds me from appreciating what God has already begun.
The thing is, if God were to answer my prayers immediately, and grant me the opportunities I dream of, I would miss out on the small home-town moments that He has prepared for me. If I refuse to trust in God’s timing, then how can I be a leader to someone who is still waiting for God to come into their lives? If I don’t first learn to put aside impatient, self-criticism, how can I expect to grow spiritually, and withstand all the trials that come with ministry?
Mostly, if I fail to love the slow-pace everyday world, how can I ever be enlightened with godly wisdom? For our God can do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine – in fact, if we were as wise as God (which we will never be) then we probably wouldn’t pray for most of the things that we are currently praying for.
Impatience only brings frustration. But if we learn to sit tight, rest in God’s unconditional love, and trust that serving opportunities will come in perfect portions, at just the right time, then how much more rewarding will these heavenly moments be?
I know and trust that God will use me, and strengthen me. I know that He will guide me, to become more patient. And as I sit tonight, having felt incapable, useless, and at limbo, I’m reminded of how much God has done for me, how much he has instore, and more importantly, how many perfectly timed opportunities there are to come.
To practice patience is to live an active faith.
What can you learn with a little bit of patience?