If I ever find a magic lamp, this is what I'll wish for (after the money, of course). Patience. Parenting has magnified this weakness to such a point that I sometimes despair I possess any. You may wonder why I bring this up today. Did something in particular set me off? Not really. It's a constant battle. For example, yesterday I think between the two of them Addison and Davis asked me a dozen times to fix the arm of Cranky the Crane which had popped off. I obliged willingly the first few times but grew increasingly weary of the repetition. The words of Sunday morning's sermon have been bouncing around in my head all week, and I knew I had to share with you for I am not alone in this struggle.
The sermon was entitled Play Ball! We had a guest preacher, Lance Lewis, the pastor of the newly particularized Christ Liberation Fellowship in Philadelphia, and his words on Ephesians 4.1-6 were the perfect blend of comfort and challenge I needed after a tough week and has stayed with me long past the sermon's duration. If you want to hear the whole sermon, I'm including it here for your own personal blessing. Highly recommended (the section on patience begins at minute 19:32)!
What particularly ministered to my beleaguered heart was his exhortation on patience. He says, "Patience is the quality of waiting in hope throughout difficult situations or when dealing with difficult people." Yes, I could name a couple. He continues,"...because it believes that God is at work on our brothers and sisters and will eventually bring about the necessary changes in their lives. Hope, therefore, does not give up." Wow. Patience is HOPEFUL. We are not patient because we are nice people or have a high tolerance for irritation. We are patient because we know God is changing the person and the circumstances. That is powerful and truly transformational.
I have still been impatient this week, but I have continued to ponder these words. Instead of beating myself up for my own impatience, I have been strengthened in the knowledge that God extends to me infinite patience as He waits on my own transformation into a woman who can, in turn, extend patience to those around her. You see, my children will not always do the things they do now. They will not always poop in their diapers, make too much noise, disregard my instructions, whine and complain, spill their food, ask the same questions a thousand times. He is growing them into the lovely, mature, godly people He would have them be. And I get to be part of this hope for their lives. I am a player in the process, bearing with my children in all of their weakness because my Father does the same for me...but perfectly.
And lest you think I've included pictures of Davis in this post because he tries my patience the most, not so! Just needed to give him some equal face time after yesterday's Addison blog.