I made the mistake once of asking God to help me learn to be patient…
I don’t know about you – but the way God usually goes about teaching me lessons is not to bless me with the character trait I ask for, but rather to lead me through opportunities to develop my character. So needless to say I feel like I have been learning patience ever since… and it doesn’t seem like I am learning very quickly.
Then I take a look back over my life and I can see just how far God has brought me. That’s what I love about hindsight – you can see the lessons learnt; the reason for some of the trials you have walked through; the miracles that have happened or the answers to prayers you have forgotten you prayed in the first place. I love reflecting on those lessons and knowing that no moment is wasted with God – that each and every circumstance has been used by him to shape who he is creating and moulding me to be.
Hindsight highlights God’s faithfulness to us!
As a result I guess God has developed in me a way of walking through my circumstances in a way that is a little less impatient than before.
It’s so easy for us to approach a new set of circumstances – a new job; a new church; a new season – with so many expectations. We dream of what things might look like for us. a quote from one of my favourite stories says this “tomorrow is always fresh… with no mistakes in it”. Everything new for us can take on a beautiful colour because it is unwritten and untainted and completely full of potential. And then we start walking into the new… and we hit a road block that causes us to trip or stumble or pause… and then we hit another… and before we know it, the exciting new season we had dreamed about has suddenly become difficult and painful. We lose momentum and perspective and faith. We start to doubt our decisions, our abilities, our self worth. It can become a vicious cycle that can spiral out of control. We can find ourselves blaming others for our mistakes, or looking to shift responsibility for poor decisions, or transferring our pain or inadequacies onto others to help us feel better about ourselves. All because we find ourselves in a place that is different to our own expectations.
One of the things God has been teaching me is to walk through life with the lens that hindsight brings. What I mean by that is this… God has been so good to me in the past… through all kinds of circumstances and trials – I know that because hindsight allows me to see it. So now, when I hit a road block or things aren’t working out according to my own expectations I am able to approach that with the understanding that God IS working; that He IS good; that He IS faithful and therefore that there must be a reason and a purpose for whatever it is that isn’t in line with my ideal.
One of my favourite verses in the bible says this
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23
God’s love and compassion for us NEVER runs out. His faithfulness does not end. He has promised us that He will never leave us nor forsake us, and so, no matter how difficult a situation might be, I know that not only is God right there in the midst of it with me – but He is using it for His purposes and ultimately for His glory.
Even now, I am amazed at what I can see God doing as I choose to look for Him. Seeing how He is bringing people together; watching him align hearts in ways that I could not dream of; bringing people into my world who have such kindred spirits it’s hard to believe we haven’t always known one another; watching as His plans unfold in ways that are somewhat different to what I may have expected but are infinately better.
Because His ways are infinately better. This I know full well!