Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “He has the patience of a saint.” I was thinking about God today, and how patient He is with me, and I used that phrase to describe Him in my mind.
But then I thought, well, that doesn’t make any sense. Because He IS a saint. Or, He’s the Saint of All The Saints. And then I started worrying that I was really getting my doctrine all mixed up and I was losing track of where I was going with that thought process, so I just went back to …
God is patient with me.
Have you read verses 5-8 of the 5th chapter of the book of James in the Bible recently? You may want to take a look at them. And if you have the Message version of the Bible, pull it out.
“If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.
[OK. Lean in close here … this is the drum roll part …]
People who ‘worry their prayers’ are like wind whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.”
Oh. My. Word.
That has my name on it.
The Wind Whipped Worrier.
How often I have taken my needs, requests, begging, to God … because nothing else seemed to work? Sometimes it seems easier and quicker to read a book to get direction. Talk to my sister. Try and figure it out and come up with my own solution. All before breakfast and all before praying about it.
“Keeping all your options open” is not the mark of a Christ-follower.
Ooftah. Big time ooftah.
If I don’t see Him moving fast enough, or responding with the answer I have already decided I should have, or He just seems silent …
I go back to trying to fix the situation on my own.
And this brings me back to …
God is patient with me.
Oh, this God that I love so much will meet every single need I have. He will answer every single prayer. He will give me the strength, peace, joy, and all the things I need to get through.
But He is not a genie in the bottle. A grantor of wishes.
He is not “one option.”
Lord, forgive me.
Forgive me for doubting.
Forgive me for my unbelief.
One of my favorite books is Believing God by Beth Moore. (Great book!)
She reminds us that, as Christians, we too often believe in God, but we don’t believe God.
Recognizing the difference has been a faith-changer for me.
Friend, I’m learning that worrying and praying can’t co-exist. They are mutually exclusive.
Worrying pulls me out of believing that God hears and answers my prayers.
Praying pulls me out of my worrying.
Worrying my prayers – bobbing along like I’m riding a wind-whipped wave – makes me a little seasick.
I want stability. I want to cling to His promises that He will keep.
I want to believe in God and believe God.
… This very patient God.