Patience

January 25, 1998

Hebrews 10:35-38 – Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that will come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Our eldest daughter flew from Toronto to be with us for Christmas, accompanied by her yearly companions, cold and flu, a gift for those of us who love to dote on those loved ones who are only able to be with us once a year. As she was in no condition to go shopping, it did, however, necessitate my going to purchase her Christmas gift for her father. It seemed a simple task, just zip in, pick it up and come home.

The first store had quite a line-up out the door so I went to another. The tills were lined up inside, but the lines were moving so there didn't appear to be a problem. Just as I was positioned to pick out her gift, an all-too-familiar voice boomed a very merry Christmas to someone. Sure enough, my dear husband was in the store headed in my direction and now I had to make my way to the back where there was no door. I either had to stay until he left or walk past him to leave. If I did that, I would have to make up some story about why I was there and forego my daughter's gift for him. It was Christmas Eve and there wouldn't have been time to come back.

I chose to stay and wait it out, thinking it wouldn't be long. As he was choosing his purchases, he kept running into people he knew and visiting. I, on the other hand was jockeying behind display cases and explaining my weird behaviour to the clerks as they came past. Forty-five minutes later I was able to choose the gift, pay for it and come home. My daughter's appreciation, my husband's delight at the gift on Christmas morning and the laughter the story elicited from everyone were worth the time I had spent to get the gift.

The words of Robin Ross, our editor, kept running through my mind… "See if you can take an everyday situation and apply it to our relationship with God"… and this is it: Sometimes when I set out to spend a little time with God it ends up being much longer. When a friend and I decided to "check out" a prayer group we ended up staying and receiving wonderful blessings. Often when compelled to "just drop in and say hi," it is at a very time when that person really needs to have someone listen to them.

The lesson learned must surely be that we must be patient when we think we're in a hurry, and be ready to spend time with God, with friends, with loved ones even, or especially, when it may mean forgoing other plans. The time spent will be worth it.

Prayer: Dear Father, we know you guide us in ways which you see best for us, even though we may sometimes feel inconvenienced. Help us to be a little more patient, a little more understanding, to look for a little humour and to know that if it is worth doing, it is worth the time spent doing it. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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