I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD. – Psalms 40:1-3 (NIV)
Patience. It sounds like such a nice word. It has a calm cadence to it and they even named a flower after it, but as most of us know, patience is hard. Patience can be torturous and even painful, especially in a slimy pit. However, it is always rewarded when it is rooted in God.
When we wait for the Lord, He turns His attention to us like a parent waiting for their child to sit still before they can get up from the table. God could give us everything we wanted, when we wanted it and how we wanted, but He wants us to have our attention on Him not on what we want.
We have a garden with tomatoes, squash, onions, sunflowers, cantaloupe and berries. Some were just planted and some have been there for a year or so. Every day we look for signs of growth and health. We tend each plant, watching for signs of bugs, lack of nutrients, water and anything else that will help us grow a good harvest. And we wait. We do a lot of waiting. Gardening takes patience.
The garden has been a good way for my daughters to learn patience. They are beginning to understand that not everything they want comes without time and effort. They are learning that anticipation has to be married to preparation. By learning about patience in the garden now they are preparing to be patient in their relationship with God. Berries do not ripen at our whim and God does not answer our wants and desires at our whim either.
So tend the garden of your fellowship with the Father with patience. It is a blessing for all of us.
Lord, help me to be patient. Amen.