The Prison Of Patience
We’ve all been there. If we’re honest most of us are still there now. The beautifully painful grey area between the passion and call you felt God has placed on your life, and the part time job as an admin assistant at the local parks and rec office (respect to Pam Beasley). We slowly trudge in to work, punch the clock, and proceed to get lost in the dreams of the day when our number will be called and our passions will have a chance to impact the world like we know they will. We mindlessly muddle around, accomplishing tasks that a robot could do (and most likely will in 5 years) until we are set free by 5 o’clock, punch out and head home.
One day I’ll lead a church that will change a city. One day I’ll be CEO of my own company.
One day I’ll write that book or film that movie. One day...
And one day you will....just not right now.
Not expecting that? Me either. But we should have been. We should have been expecting the grey. It’s nothing new. It’s actually riddled throughout the Bible. Anyone ever heard of the Israelites? 40 years of wondering. Joseph ring a bell? How about being thrown in a pit, sold into slavery then put in to jail for false accusations? And we can’t forget about our boy David. Anointed king one day, back with the sheep another. Then he plays music for a king that chucks spears at him, and runs around in the wilderness escaping his murder attempts. Sounds like a pretty serious grey area to me.
It seems like the Bible is screaming something to us. YOU MAY NOT BE READY YET! And that’s okay. God put those dreams in your heart for a reason. For His reason. For His glory. That’s the purpose of your dream. But guess what. He knows when and where your dream will come to fruition so He can get the maximum amount of glory better than you do! He makes them happen so at the end of the day all you can say is, “wow, glory to God. Look what He did with my life.”
The season you’re in right now is about 1 major word: Patience
Some of us feel as if it’s a prison. But the Bible is clear how important patience is to God. Let’s take a quick look at some of the benefits of patience:
Galatians 6:9 (NLT)
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.
Galatians 5:22 (NLT)
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
James 1:34 (NLT)
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance (some translations say patience) has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance (patience) is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
From this we can see that patience is an amazing thing. It’s a fruit of the Spirit, it’s a doorway to blessing, and it helps us grow in the image of Christ. What do all these things have in common? Your character.
Character is formed in failure and waiting... Character is put on display during success...
If we could have a moment of clarity for one second, how many of us would say that our character can handle our calling? Not me. Not a chance. Just the other night my selfish ambition was put on full display. If I ever want to plant and pastor a church one day (which is what I feel called to do) my capacity for more Godly character needs to be much, much higher.
One of my favorite authors says, “God’s more concerned about who you’re becoming than where you’ll end up.”
But we just want to end up in our final destination. Thank God that He knows us better than we know ourselves. Thank God for the grey area. That’s where we’re formed. That’s where we’re shaped. That’s where we learn patience and gain Godly character so our calling doesn’t crush us.
I’ve been doing a lot of praying lately about when it’ll be “my time.” As I tried to just quiet myself before God and listen for His voice, this phrase popped into my mind:
Character is formed in failure and in waiting
Character is put on display during success
We love looking up to people in our field who are doing what we want to do and crushing it. We admire their ability to lead the pack and do it with such grace. We see who they are now and believe that that’s their story. They’ve always been that way. They’ve always been in charge or on top. We didn’t get to see the lessons they learned during their grey areas. We only get to see their success and the character it displays.
You see success is tricky. It’s fickle. It can give you a platform to change the world, or it can eat you alive. There’s one thing success will always do though. It will put your character on display for the world to see. Success doesn’t breed character, it displays it.
So lets thank God for the grey area. Let’s thank Him that He loves us enough to grow us in patience and waiting. Let’s thank Him for building up our character enough to handle our calling.
Who knows when your number will be called. Let’s enjoy the season we’re in now, and be thankful for the preparation.
Love you guys! Connor Grim