Deep in my heart I say, ‘The Lord is all I need. I can depend on him! It is good to wait patiently for the Lord to save us.’ Lamentations 3:24, 26 (CEV)
December is a difficult month for those of us who are not good wait people. We sit on the precipice of action and are irresistibly drawn toward the edge of doing something. We can’t wait to open packages. We shake and rattle, and at times, I am ashamed to say, even weigh gift boxes to guess their contents. We finish other’s sentences so that we can get started on our own.
Patience is that steady, deep faith that whatever is in the future is God’s gift for our needs. Some learn that earlier than others.
We pray demanding prayers and do not look into the deep places where gratitude is stored. We know, in those deep places, that God has given us all that we need. When we can reach that depth of understanding, our impatient concern becomes a patient waiting; the ultimate outcome promised.
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My circle once decided to take over the kitchen cleaning at the church. We divided into smaller groups, and I ended up with a pair of sisters. Our first time together, I came in a few minutes late. They were cleaning back in a corner. We exchanged greetings, and I wondered aloud if I should start on the floor. “Oh, no,” they said. “We’re not through here yet.”
And indeed they were not—and would not be for some time. They found tiny bits of dirt in odd places, and then they looked for more. I thought it would take us an hour to get that kitchen clean; it took us until midnight. The work was done, and it took the time they were willing to give.
One can be patient when the work at hand is the gift for the moment.
I think of the shepherds on that hill long ago, part of the people waiting and waiting for the Savior to appear. While they waited, the singing began and the light appeared and the message was clear. The shepherds were called to go and see and then go and tell.
While we wait for the answers to our prayers, while we wait for guidance through difficult times, while we wait for tomorrow to come, may we all know deep in our hearts: “The Lord is all I need. It is good to wait patiently.”