A few weeks ago I attended my cousin’s wedding. Various friends and relatives were at the wedding. One relative there was my little cousin Aric (nephew of the groom), a very active seven year-old. Aric and I hit it off right away. We spent several days together helping with the wedding details. As you can imagine, weddings are not something little often kids enjoy. I spent as much time as I could distracting Aric so that his parents could enjoy the festivities.
We were into the second day of our four-day trip when we decided to take a ride in one of the beautiful horse-drawn carriages around downtown Charleston. While waiting for our turn, I noticed Aric was getting very impatient. He squirmed and would occasionally sigh loudly. I finally said to Aric not to worry, that it would be our turn soon, that we just had to wait. We have to be patient. I asked, "Do you know what that means?" Aric turned to me and said, "Yes, I do. It means you have to wait…wait with a good attitude." Hmmm, I thought, he has had this conversation before.
Yes, being patient does mean waiting. But the difference - as a Christian, as a follower of Christ - is the attitude that goes with it. I think of all the things in life that we must be patient for and how my own attitude has been tested. From waiting in line at the grocery store and post office, to something coming in the mail, to our phone’s turning on, to the microwave not cooking fast enough...waiting is a part of life.
At Your Job or Career
I never know where I am going to be working or what doors God is going to open or close. I can get tired of waiting sometimes and try and create my own path. I look around and see where God has taken others in their careers. What I sometimes don’t remember is the higher you go up the ladder the more responsibility goes with it. It’s not what we do in this life but how we use it to bring God glory.
I get so tired waiting for people to change. I get tired of whining, stuck-in-the-spin-cycle people. They constantly talk about their struggles but do nothing about it. But then God reminds me that part of this spin cycle for some is where they will figure it out. Some of us need time to hear ourselves complain to the point we do get tired and make the changes. Some of us, including myself, need to remember we have been in the same place. Listening to our friends share their hurts, their struggles is where we can strengthen our patience. It’s where we can gain wisdom for our own lives.
A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense (Proverbs 19:11).
OK, so yes, this is my life. This is my house, my city, my church, my friends, etc. But is this it, Lord? Is this the plan? I mean, is this all there is? I thought I would be in a different place by now? I thought I would, ________.
We can all put something in the blank. Some of us are where we are due to sin, some due to others’ sin, and some because God places us here. It’s a matter of perspective. Perhaps you live where you live to reach your lost neighbors. Perhaps you are at your church because God wants you to help serve. Perhaps you have this set of friends vs. that set because you have a heart for the broken, the forgotten. Maybe our desire to change our circumstances shouldn’t be about waiting but about celebrating where God has you, that through being patient God gets the glory.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16).
Recently I had the honor of praying with a lady around my age who was about to go back to an old boyfriend who she lived with - instead of continuing to wait on God’s best. She was terrified of being alone. Her emotions were blinding her from seeing God in her situation. Upon talking more with her, I asked her some hard questions about her personal walk with God. She admitted that she wasn’t as close as she should be, that she isn’t praying or spending time with God consistently. You see folks, as you draw closer to God he helps you with the wait. He is the one who gives you the right attitude to endure. He calms your heart and gives you his peace to keep going knowing his way and his path is what we want. She then asked me if there was hope. I said, yes, by all means there is still hope to get married. But in the midst of hoping, seek more of God. You will get to the place, like myself that you are good either way. I am not worried about being “alone” as I am never alone. I have God and the enormous family of Christ around me.
…So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light (Colossians 1:10-12).
Well, Aric and I waited patiently through the wedding ceremony to a splendid reception where he could run around and have fun. Was it worth the wait, I asked Aric? He nodded and quickly disappeared into the dancing crowd.
That is what I want God to see in me: a servant living joyfully in him, dancing through the crowd of life.
Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries and FromHisHands.com Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name). Kris is currently working on two new books: The FAQ's of Singles Ministry with author/speaker Dennis Franck and A Fine Line: Discerning Truth From Sin.
TheSinglesNetwork.org Ministries helps churches, pastors and single adult leaders evaluate, develop and support their single adult ministries through high-energy speaking engagements, results-oriented consulting and training and leadership development conferences and seminars. Click here to request a FREE "How to Start a Single Adult Ministry" guide.
FromHisHands.com Ministries is Kris' speaking ministry. If you've ever heard her speak, you know that Kris is the kind of speaker who keeps the crowd captivated, shares great information and motivates people to make a difference in the lives of those around them! She speaks to all church audiences on everything from "first impression" ministry to women's topics to singles and young adults. She can speak on a Sunday morning, at a woman's retreat or for a single adults conference. Bring Kris to your church today!
Publication date: April 3, 2014