4 | Patience. Prayer. [Podcast!] – Part 1

“…In other words, everything it is, good, bad, indifferent; whatever it is, you see it in the light of God. It becomes something for which you can talk to God. That’s praying without ceasing.” | J. MacArthur

It is estimated that the average Torontonian spends 84 hours per year in traffic.
That’s about 10.5 work days…
I’ve heard it said that, if you want to know how someone is, watch how s/he drives — Does s/he tailgate, change lanes, honk often, get road rage? Be careful of those warning signs!

I’m always amused by how the average person changes when s/he drives.

A large portion of my day involves being on the road.

More often than not, it is like this:


Yet there is an area of thanksgiving here — it has led me to wonderful radio shows like Grace to You, Insight for Living, and Turning Point. (Side note: If you’re in Toronto, it’s 99.5 FM. If you want music, try 100.3 FM.)

In case you don’t read on, one of the highlights of my week was listening to this podcast:  Praying without Ceasing here.

(You can download it for your drive to work 🙂 ).

This week was one that was trying to my patience… Not only in driving, but meetings, projects, tasks, family, and a new class that I’m taking. In reflection, there are more than a few incidents where I allowed impatience and anger to take over.

Yet my commute has also allowed for times of reflection.
This past week, I’ve been thinking about patience. And wisdom.

Patience

It seems that much of our lives involve waiting:
About 10 months for a child, longer until they can walk, 16 years for your driving license, then the graduation, waiting to save up for a car/your house, waiting in the grocery line, waiting for (and then on) your significant other, your family, your retirement, to see your doctor, to get the meds, the check-ups, and – ultimately – the time of your passing.

That’s the cycle.
But somewhere in there, you realize that we aren’t all waiting in the same line.
The road we thought we were on divides: We make different stops and different things are added to our lives. It is possible that the stops we wanted may not exist in our path, and part of our maturity is to accept that.

Sometimes there are barriers in our path, a broken road, a lonely road… And you wonder why you have to drive on this. (Isn’t there a short cut somewhere?)

Yet there is a place for pain and difficulties. The Bible is filled with examples of what seems like loss in the eyes of the world, yet it is precious and purposeful in the sight of God:

“Consider it pure joy … whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

“But we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” (Romans 5:3-5)

 

I think about the examples of men and women before us: Elizabeth Elliot, Eric Liddell, Hudson Taylor… Job, Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Daniel… Paul, John…

Did they imagine their lives to play out as it did?
Loss, separation, disappointment, unanswered questions, misunderstandings… All of this trying to one’s patience and character.

And yet, as we review their lives as a whole, does not our admiration come through their patience in suffering? It is not joy because of suffering, but because there is hope through faith in God!

Sometimes we get tired of taking the same paths, serving in the same roles with no changes in sight. This verse was an encouragement for this this week:
“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)

To go one step further: to remember Christ’s love and example (1 Peter 2:19-23).

 

Let’s save the rest for another day, and end with the thoughts of this man – a king.
See how he counted time, and the reason for his patience:

Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Lord Almighty, blessed is the one who trusts in you.| Psalm 84: 10-12

 

Perhaps patience is really a lesson in obedience, and the target is our heart.
The road to get there isn’t easy, but we are promised His company 🙂

(And now, John MacArthur’s podcast, Praying without Ceasing here. It’s interesting to hear how applicable it is almost 40 years after it was first broadcast!)

 

 

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