Friday, October 5, 2007

Abiding in Patience

I’m not the best candidate to be writing about patience. But I’m working on it, or better stated, God is working on me. So having confessed all of that, starting with the big picture of it is the best way for someone of my ilk to tackle the subject of patience.

Hebrews 3 has as its keyword, rest. Before the connotation summons up a picture of a Sealy mattress, we first have to get a grasp of the meaning of Christ’s rest. To do that, we have to realize what Christ has done for us in advance.

When my father was very ill, my mother having already passed on, Dad asked me to step in acting as his power of attorney. He suffered his whole life with pulmonary disease and then acquired Alzheimer’s Disease in his final years. In the meantime, he had a relative who had designs on the money he had saved over the years. This person was a very violent person who had gone to blows even with her own children. Because she had not planned for her retirement, she was desperate to finagle money her way. When I arrived in town, I found her selling off my mother’s belongings to neighbors to raise money. I had to work very wisely to get her out of my father’s house and to get him into assisted living care. Then Dad asked me to take him to his attorney where he finalized a will that would leave his estate to my sister and me. Until he signed on the dotted line, there was a great deal of tension and pressure on me. I knew this relative would return to try and gain access to my father’s assets once I left town if I did not put in place safeguards. Because my father’s mental condition would soon deteriorate, he would be vulnerable.

But once the will was in place and signed by Dad, I could relax. No amount of scheming or threatening would do this poor individual any good. Finally, I could rest. When he died, I could execute his last will and testament knowing that my sister and I were protected.

When Christ signed my redemption with his own blood, the only thing left for me to do was to execute the will. I did that when I accepted that new covenant and became God’s newly adopted daughter. My rest is now knowing that my covenant with God is irrevocable.

What does that have to do with patience? Everything. All of the work I do, because of Him, for Him, to point others to Him is a long road of work. I have to be patient with myself, knowing that God is finishing a work in me. I have to be patient with His Body because people tend to grow slowly. I have to trust that God is working to finish His work, not to my satisfaction, but to His perfection. Here’s a good verse:
“Let patience have her perfect work, that you may be
perfect and complete lacking nothing.” James 1:4

As God works me through the tapestry of His plan, I can rest knowing that I’m secure while abiding in it. That is a true source of patience.