More on Patience

I posed the question yesterday about patience and why God values it so much. So I wanted to write a little more about it, and rip off some of the comments from yesterday.

I think it should also be said that “patience” and “waiting” go hand in hand; you exercise patience when you wait. Or you don’t. God wants us to.

But waiting isn’t the only thing linked to patience. One of the big time verses about waiting is Isaiah 40:31 – “But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength.” But if you start comparing how the word “wait” is translated, you start finding that some versions translate it “wait” but others say “hope.” That’s interesting…

So maybe to God, it’s not enough to just wait. That doesn’t cut it. To God, waiting well is intertwined with hope. But hope in what? Hope that things will get better? Hope that the future will be different? Hope that the disease will go away? Maybe not, at least not in Benjamin Warfield’s case.

His wife wasn’t miraculously healed. She didn’t walk again. And she’s just one of many great men and women of faith who waited, patiently, and hoped fully, and then nothing happened. Our hope, then, can’t necessarily be in the fact that things are going to change or get better. Real hope must be bigger than that, and that’s what Isaiah 40:31 points out.

Our hope is in God. Those who hope in the Lord…

There is a difference. Things might be different. Things might get better. But regardless, there is a hopeful waiting. But that hopeful waiting can’t be grounded in the change in circumstance. Instead, it’s got to be bigger than that. We must hope in God. In His wisdom. In His goodness. In His decisions.

This is hard to write and even harder to internalize, but we hope in the fact that somewhere deep inside we believe that God knows our paths better than we do. That His design for our life is better than ours. Or at least we’re moving that direction, learning to wait better, learning to hope more.

Ironically, one of the best ways we learn how to do anything better, whether waiting or fly fishing, is by actually doing it. So maybe that’s one of the reasons, too, God puts us in waiting positions so often – so that our “waiting-ness” can be more fully developed. And when it is, when we wait well, we say alot to those around us about what we believe about God.

Waiting well honors the Lord.

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  • Carrie says:

    I know that when I someday have the opportunity, I’m going to be asking why we have to go through some of the challenges that we do.

    Obviously God is using these things for the greater good, but it’s so darned frustrating not being able to see what that greater good IS.

    I feel confident in saying that the way that you and Jana are handling this situation with so much outward grace and faith (despite feeling justifiably grieved and confused and unsure) is bringing others closer to God. It’s getting people who have fallen away from their prayer lives back into praying. It’s causing other people who maybe never had that relationship to consider forming one.

    I wonder what other things He is doing with your situation that you can’t even know about on this side of heaven. I think that often, when we’re waiting, He is doing big big things that we don’t see. And maybe one day we’ll all get to find out why it had to happen that way…..

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