I was awake most of the night (Tuesday night). As I have said before, I am constantly thinking of the church, worrying sometimes, thoughtful all the time. I have been praying, asking what to do, asking personal questions regarding ministry, asking…asking.
During the night, while looking at the clock every half hour, wondering if I would ever go to sleep and praying in short bursts, I distinctly heard and saw the word “Patience.” I keep asking what I am doing wrong? Tell me and I will correct it, but the answer is patience.
I have never been good with patience. I like to act, get it done. When you are working with people it takes patience. Not all move at the same pace or process at the same pace. Sometimes in movies I know where things are going and begin to laugh before anyone else. I usually process things quickly; so I have had a struggle with those who do not. The Lord has reminded me and taught me on that level. So many years ago, I started recognizing that it takes time for many. This came into play often in leadership meetings and working with teams. I began to give my ideas and then allow time for those who needed it to think about it and make improvements.
In our situation, I keep thinking that we have reached the basement level and now we will see the building phase start. And then, there is another layer removed making the basement deeper. What is to be built must take a deep foundation. When I came 10 years ago, I came with the mandate from the Holy Spirit to rebuild the foundation. I was thinking it only needed a patch job in a few places, but it has turned out to be far more serious and it looks like a whole new foundation.
Patience…waiting confidently for that which is to come. Patience: Romans 5:3-5 (KJV) we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
For me, Patience is an exercise of effort and concentration. It is one of the fruit of the Spirit and is spoken of many times in scripture to encourage individuals or the saints at large. In the fire of trials, we, I, want to get through it and on to the positive. However, I have learned that we must go through the fire to get to the other side and patience is necessary. While recovering, each day I thought would be the final restore, but it took weeks to get back to anywhere near to wholeness.
I realize that we are in that process of recovery and the Lord emblazoned that word as he spoke to me last night. Actually, it was not a reprimand, but encouragement. I felt relief and confidence. There was no scolding sense in it; it was more explanatory. What it did for me in that moment and I want to hold on to that, was a peace that it was going to be all right, just wait, be patient. I can do that now that I know.