On Saturday, I posted a photo of this iris tightly furled and reflected on the value of patience.
Today it is fully open- and I love it.
Christian faith is built on the faithful and loving nature of God. In this age of “urgency” and hurry, it is important to remember that even though we have to wait for the final revelation of the perfect Kingdom of God, and may have to struggle with issues that take time to resolve, we CAN trust Him.
Here’s a truth to meditate on today: Hebrews 10:23 (Message)
“Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.”
Going to see the lambs was a rare treat. I was only about six the first time I remember it. Grandad’s market garden bordered a farm that came to life every Spring. Lambs bounced and bleated, and kept going back to Mum for safety and snacks. Oh the noise! Who’d be a mother… all that patient care, feeding ravenous little throats, being jumped on, barged, butted and bounced. And lambs are even worse!
We often use the Bible picture of God as our Father, the best of all possible fathers.
Perhaps we should remember sometimes that God “mothers” us as well: caring, wiping our noses and our tears, providing all we need for life and growth.
There is a reward for such patience. Watching little ‘uns grow up to be strong and capable, loving and mature. If our Mums find such reward alongside the heartache, think how God feels when we start to grow up. God enjoys our youthful antics, sharing smiles and belly-laughs; and rejoices when we are able to stand firm in love, mature enough to be that Love to others.
Think on that. At various points in your life (and mine) God has watched over us- and smiled in satisfied contentment. Our love rewards Divine patience. As children of God, we receive Love- and give it back. God is smiling with us even when we take Love for granted and demand our share: and possibly more! We are young. But we will grow up- and that is reward in itself.
Watching wild birds can be fascinating. Their behaviour is a good teacher. The heron was slowly and patiently stalking its lunch. Stillness. Endless patience. Eventually, success.
Then I realised that was exactly the same process for the photographer. Waiting quietly, patiently, then seizing the moment. What I didn’t realise then was the presence of a black-tailed Godwit hunting within the frame of my photo. (So much for careful scanning of the scene and precise composition!)
Patience brings its own rewards.
We learn patience by having it tested- people, events, problems, little aggravations. I was thinking about a situation this week that made me realise I was becoming grumpy.
Then I thought… I wonder if that is how God feels about me? He puts up with my annoying faults and my regular “fail” moments.
Without condoning my errors, God still loves me (and you). In the New Testament, the classic definition of LOVE is written in 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV).
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Now that’s the kind of patience that GIVES great rewards.
“Lord, help me to become patient… and do it quickly!”
A better prayer is this: “Lord, teach me to love as You love. And please be patient when I am slow to love patiently, kindly, and humbly.”