I can recall clearly my prayers as a new bride. I prayed for God to change me, mature me, and to make me sufficient in my new role. With the new responsibilities that I believed came with marriage, I had many personal qualities that I wanted to refine and new skills that I wanted to learn. My weaknesses would now weigh both of us down, I convinced myself. I would anxiously read how-to articles and frustrate myself, growing impatient with the slow progression of change.
I was so focused on seeing change from day-to-day, that I missed the bigger transformation that God was already producing in me. A familiar verse to many is found in Philippians.
Philippians 1:6: For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
I had heard this verse many times and used it when encouraging friends of mine in their time of despair. But I didn’t believe it for myself.
What I see now is that my impatience and dissatisfaction with myself was a result of doubt and unbelief in God. In my continuing study of scripture, I’m learning that patience requires a surrender of earthly understanding, and above all else, a complete trust in God’s faithfulness and goodness.
Scripture teaches that “with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (2 Peter 3:8) So, instead of trying to comprehend God’s timing, we must place our trust in HIS faithfulness instead of OUR understanding. That passage continues, saying that “the Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)
When I forgo my acute time lens and open my heart to God’s perfect timing, I see a story of His grace and patience as he writes the testimony of my life. It’s a story that didn’t just start when I prayed as a fresh-faced wife, but had started long ago with an insecure young woman helplessly surrendering to the Lord. Upon the realization that no person, status, or thing could make me feel at peace, I’ve learned that the Bible is the only self-help book that I could ever need.
The Holy Spirit produces patience in us that is made deeper by faith.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17
I can see a direct relationship between the amount of time that I spend in God’s Word and my patience. I am continually learning that God is fully faithful, fully trustworthy, and fully sovereign in my life. He proves Himself over and over again in my moments of doubt. The Lord is my strength and my salvation, and He is working on a masterpiece in my life.
About the Writer:
Audra has a passion for encouraging women in their roles at home in both marriage and motherhood. She enjoys sharing her journey of refinement and learning through these important transitions on her blog called The Homegrown Project.