"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," 'declares the Lord.' "As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Patience has never been one of my more refined fruits of the Spirit. One might see the potential problem here, considering I am a single mom raising two very young children who require exuberant amounts of patience. Ah, yes, I do believe God has a sense of humor...But, more than that, He knows what I need to learn. I'm beginning to see things differently in this new season of my life.
Consider something with me for a minute...If Heaven is our true home (and where perfect lives), then I sure have a lot to learn before I get there. Maybe this earthly life (struggles included) is preparation for home. I can't be in Heaven with less than the required amount of patience (other fruits of the Spirit also included - love, self-control, faithfulness, joy, peace). Looked at from this perspective, Jesus has a lot of refining to do in me. And one of the ways I believe He does this is through our struggles and suffering. It doesn't exactly make sense to us, but then again God's ways are far above our ways (Isaiah 55:8-9).
I try to remind myself of this, especially on the trying and difficult days. There are still days when it seems to rain all day long and that storm cloud follows me wherever I go. I go right. It goes right. I go left. It proceeds left and tugs at my heel. I do so well and then it feels like I back track. I cry out to the Lord perplexed by my state. I wonder why I'm here again, and then I feel disappointed that I'm not trusting God to be in complete control of my life. Patience. In God's perfect timing. Surrender.
I go through the questions: Where is my focus? On God? On me? On what the world tells me I should be? I pull out God's Word and start reading. I'm reminded that God has more for me to learn yet. It's a process. It's a journey. I may not like the path I'm on. My fleshy side reminds me of this daily. But, then I refocus my thinking to center on the premise that God is trying to teach me something through this. He has promised a future of hope (Jeremiah 29:11). It is a daily, true exercise in "mind-control."
Oh, Lord, how much longer must I suffer?
The path I'm on does not get easier but becomes tougher.
In anguish and despair,
My hope is fading and along with it my desire to care.
Why can life seem so unfair?
How much longer must I wait,
And be resigned to this feeble state?
I seek You out. I pray.
But the suffering continues day after day.
"Have you forgotten My ways are not your ways.
I did not promise, on this earth, painless days.
I've called you to come out from the comfort you once knew.
Like a willing servant you listened and therefore spiritually grew.
Did I not bring you from out of that dungeonous pit?
My child, do not worry. Do not quit.
I know this journey you are on is long.
But I need for you to keep going - to be strong.
There are still things I need for you to learn in order to become wise.
Only then will you be able to stand up and fully rise.
I know you are lonely and in despair.
But, hold on, you are almost there.
Walk with Me. Do not cast Me aside.
It is in Me and to whom you can confide.
Keep your eyes focused on Me.
Close them shut, quiet your mind and you will see.
There I am standing with outstretched arms.
My words are simple. Do not be overcome with such alarm.
You are My chosen one.
With you, I am not done.
You are different, as you've always known.
I have special plans for you that will not be overthrown.
Your path is not the same.
You do not need worldly fortune and fame.
I am what you need.
I will supply and your mouth I will feed.
Cast from your life envy and greed.
By doing such you will from worry be freed.
Look not at the world around you to define who you are.
I give you meaning and purpose and that makes you My star.
When I am in you, light from you pours out.
You belong to Me, let there be no doubt.
Now, it is time to get up and go.
I am with you on this journey. This you must always know.