Posts Tagged patience
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labor, light denied?”I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly; thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er land and ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.” ~ John Milton
O how rare it is that the soul is sufficiently stilled to let God speak.” Francois Fenelon
I have always appreciated the Quaker’ approach to prayer how they quietly gather in small groups, sit in silence and await the voice of God. “Quaker’ prayer, notes Virginia Schurman, (a member of the organization ), is a prayer of quiet peace, of being in the Lord’s presence and of basking in His nearness and His Love. Even more, it is listening with the mind, heart and spirit and being made teachable. Most Quaker’s understand that being quiet in God’s presence is a powerful gift; that it is through silence that the Holy Spirit is heard and allowed to speak. It is an active surrendering, a listening stillness, a self-abandonment to Divine providence and this loving attentiveness and openness to God is beyond words.”
What a brilliant idea and a novel concept to sit in silence, lift one’s spirit to God’s, and simply await God’s Word. Because unfortunately, many of us, notes Kirk Byron Jones, are “walking storms, personal winds and waves of busyness, moving from one thing to the next with little or no time for respite,” much less for prayer.” In fact, my own devotional times have been bombarded with so many competing distractions that I am guilty of neglectful prayer.
In the maddening maze of things, though tossed by storm and flood. To one sure hope my spirit clings—I know that God is good. John Greenleaf Whittier
But fortunately, as I mature in faith, the better I understand that God’s ways are not my ways. That God is not impressed with my busyness or exhaustion and that life is more than simply a list of things to do. There is no doubt that there is a priority and order to God’s plan for our lives. To know that plan is to seek it in silence – in a quiet place of prayer and to make ourselves fully present to God. There, in the stillness, we can recall our “God Moments.” There, in calmness, we can remember God’s promises and faithfulness. There, in serenity, we can spiritually navigate the troubled seas and pressures of life. There, by God’s Grace, we can patiently await true peace that only comes from the Prince of Peace, who dwells in our heart by faith.
Before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
Beloveds, God is always speaking — Are you listening?
PRAYER SCRIPTURE: And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7
“I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined unto me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1 (KJV)
I was on my way to do my usual errands and noticed that there was a serious automobile accident on the far side of the road. I could see someone was severely injured and needed to be placed in an ambulance. Concerned, I drove on to my destination to complete my tasks. Unbelievably, on my way home, there was another accident on the opposite side of the road (also requiring an ambulance).
As I drove on, up ahead there was an unrelated traffic jam. I could not see the cause. All I could do was wait until I got a little closer. Surprisingly, it was a family of geese who had decided to cross right in the middle of that busy road! The father goose bravely stepped out in front of a mile-long car pileup of honking, hurried, impatient drivers. Following closely behind the male goose were seven cute baby geese with their mother who was carefully shielding them from the rear. It was amazing to watch as they boldly, but slowly trekked across one of the neighborhood’s busiest intersections. I was watching this brave little clan in amazement, when an impatient motorcyclist decided he had better things to do sped by me and right through the center of the goose family, barely missing one of the babies. Once they had all safely crossed, I continued on my way pondering the past hour’s events, and who should I meet, stopped at the red light, but that impatient motorcyclist.
The Holy Spirit spoke clearly to me that morning. Reality met me coming, going, and in the middle of my plans. I understood that nothing I had to do was so important that it had to be done at the speed of light. Witnessing two back-to-back accidents and admiring the bold spirit of a family of geese crossing a busy highway, reminded me of what is most important in my life. At the end of the day — the gift of time, good health and family are all that truly matter. How mysterious and amazing are the ways of our God that teach us such simple life lessons.