Letter from a Mother to her child:
“My dear child, the day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through.
If when we talk, I repeat the same thing a thousand times, don’t interrupt to say: “You said the same thing a minute ago”… Just listen, please. Try to remember the times when you were little and I would read the same story night after night until you would fall asleep.
When I don’t want to take a bath, don’t be mad and don’t embarrass me. Remember when I had to run after you making excuses and trying to get you to take a shower when you were just a little one?
When you see how ignorant I am when it comes to new technology, give me the time to learn and don’t look at me that way…remember, honey, I patiently taught you how to do many things like eating appropriately, getting dressed, combing your hair and dealing with life’s issues every day…
The day you see I’m getting old, I ask you to please be patient, but most of all, try to understand what I’m going through. If I occasionaly lose track of what we’re talking about, give me the time to remember, and if I can’t, don’t be nervous, impatient or arrogant.
Just know in your heart that the most important thing for me is to be with you. And when my old, tired legs don’t let me move as quickly as before, give me your hand the same way that I offered mine to you when you first walked.
When those days come, don’t feel sad… just be with me, and understand me while I get to the end of my life with love. I’ll cherish and thank you for the gift of time and joy we shared.
With a big smile and the huge love I’ve always had for you, I just want to say, I love you… my darling child. ”
Have you ever felt like your prayers were just bouncing off the ceiling? Or have you felt like God had turned His face from you and found something more important, beautiful…interesting and you were left with silence?
You are not alone. In Psalm 13, David also wondered what was causing God to delay His answer. Bible commentaries believe that Saul is pursuing David, since David had been named by God to replace Saul as King. And in spite of all this, David had remained loyal to Saul and had tried to be the best servant he could be. But it doesn’t matter because David has become the object of Saul’s paranoia!
Psalm 13 “O Lord, how long will you forget me? Forever? How long will you look the other way? How long must I struggle with anguish in my soul, with sorrow in my heart everyday? How long will my enemy have the upper hand? Turn and answer me, O Lord my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die. Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Don’t let them rejoice at my downfall. But I trust in your unfailing love. I will rejoice because you have resuced me. I will sing to the Lord because He is good to me.”
Waiting for God is one of the hardest things that we as humans are asked to do. This is especially true in a world of drive-thru’s, microwave cooking, internet communications etc. It seems that the more personal resources that we have, the harder it is go WAIT and let God work things out in the fullness of his timing.
This is the psalm for praying when waiting is the task. This is the psalm when you need to be still and trust God.
And in this psalm, David has found that unless Jehovah turns the tide, the enemies would soon be boasting that they had defeated him. He needs God to look upon him with favor or he would die. So David calls upon the Lord…
In this silence, we are to bring our restless, impatient spirit to God and confess how we feel about His timing. It’s okay to tell Him how frustrated you are with His ‘slow ways’. Confess it all…….then wait. Wait for God, even when you don’t feel like waiting. Wait for God when you cannot see the next step to take.
You don’t have to know how God is going to act. All you need to know is that God will act. Don’t look frantically about you, searching here and there for evidence of God’s presence.
Trust that God will show up. Keep waiting and keep watching. That is what David does. In verses 5 and 6, David believes that the answer is on the way. Trusting in the mercy of God, he knows that he will live to celebrate deliverance from his enemies. And in anticipation of this, he can sing praises to the Lord.
How often do we try to hurry up God? And how many times do we spend tremendous energy trying to devise plans to change our circumstances? We can beat down heavens doors, pace the floor, spend the day worrying…but it doesn’t need to matter that nothing changes.
David changed his heart by looking to the Lord….and not his problems. He was able to trust in Him and rejoice in Him. No matter how difficult things become we are to trust.
The real victory of the christian life comes from experiencing the joy of the Lord…in good times and bad.
Ok, patience is not something we can truly pull off by our own will. It is supernatural. It is another fruit of the Spirit. Often we think of patience as waiting for something to happen and then being in a good mood about it! Some translations call it longsuffering. and the dictionary explains it as, “long and patience endurance.” Ouchie….that sounds like it’s going to hurt.
God has an excellent reason for wanting us to have patience. In His master plan of salvation, God intends to provide an opportunity for everyone who has ever lived to understand His Word and repent. And in regards to our relationships with one another we are told…
“Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3 (NIV)
Let’s all try to have the quality of a calm, tranquil frame of mind…beginning by trusting in the sovereignty of God and by waiting on God’s perfect timing in all our circumstances and with other people. Hmm…this is going to be a tough one….but a good one.
LOVE…..This isn’t the Hollywood version of love. The word for love in this verse is the original Greek word AGAPE.
There are three types of love. EROS love is known as “erotic love.” PHILOS love is a brotherly love (love between friends) and AGAPE love is the ultimate love…it is the unconditional love.
When you love unconditionally, it doesn’t mean that you won’t get hurt…and it doesn’t mean you won’t be talked about….but it does mean that you are displaying the fruit that JESUS displayed!
This quality is significant to our relationship with God, because we can’t know anything about love apart from Him! 1 John 4:8, says, “He who does not know love does not know God, for God is love.” When we have truly felt God’s love for us in sending His only Son to die on the cross for us, then we cannot help but love others as He has loved us. That kind of love will impact us in a life-transforming way!
So we can ‘taste’ that this fruit signifies an unselfish love that gives…without expecting anything in return. Its a love that always seeks the best for its object. A supernatural love of which we’re not capable apart from the Holy Spirit.
I want to be treated with that kind of love. I want to treat others with that kind of love…and we can..when we live by the Spirit.
Tomorrow is JOY!!
Aren’t those qualities beautiful? Read them again and let them soak in. These qualities are the ones that the Holy Spirit wants to produce in our lives.
By our own efforts, these “fruit” could never be produced in us as they were found in Jesus. BUT, through the Holy Spirit living in us, Jesus’ own perfect character can be seen in us!!
“Every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.” Matthew 7:19.
Jesus told His disciples that you can tell if someone truly belongs to Him by the kind of spiritual fruit that they produce. Why? Because when you gave your life to Jesus, your salvation wasn’t free….it was bought by a VERY HIGH price!! The death of Christ!!
Now, you might ask yourself why God thinks that you are worthy of that sacrifice. Doesn’t it seem that despite all your attempts at perfection…you constantly miss the mark? Well, our Heavenly Father has a very special kind of love for us and he longs for us to be in His presence.
John Stott said, “The mere recital of these christian graces should be enough to make the mouth water and the heart beat faster. For this is a portrait of Jesus Christ.” Wow….I’ll let that settle in for a minute.
Living by faith in the Son of God is what the fruit of the spirit is all about. Each day I want to take a piece of fruit and we can … eat it together. (oh, I just patted myself on the back for that one!) 🙂
Tomorrow we can take a bite out of LOVE…..
So some of the lessons that I took away from the book of Job are that the righteous are not exempt from suffering. I jumped over to the “right-hand” side of the bible….ok, the NEW Testament….to 2 Corinthians chapter one and learned more…
Again, I like what The Message had to say starting in verse 3…”All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us.” (Bold highlight, mine).
Ok, so there is one reason for suffering… then in verse 6…”If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation, if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer.” So…another reason is so that we may have patient endurance.
Verse 9…”Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.” Ok….so we will lean on God and not ourselves.
And finally in verse 11, Paul says, “..Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” Hmm…..so others will give thanks to God.
So maybe if we view things as coming from the Lord, by His permission… people, we are going to GROW! And I can always use the growth. God knows when are struggles are overwhelming. He knows when we are faced with unbearable circumstances too. But have you ever thought that it was an object lesson to those around us? OUCH! LET THEM HAVE THEIR OWN STRUGGLES!!! (ok, that’s the flesh talking here)….1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past our limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” Aahhh……that’s what I’m talkin’ about… He will never leave nor forsake us……..and THAT is what I lean on every single day.