Patience. We all ask for it, yet the majority of us don’t know what we are truly asking for. To pray for patience is like asking God to place us in situations where our patience is being tested. Moses struggled as he led the Israelites out of Egypt, which took 40 years, and he was forbidden to cross the finish line. On the other hand, the young shepherd boy patiently waited 15 years from his anointing to his crowning, and he became known as “a man after God’s own heart.” When I was asked to write this post, I literally laughed out loud, in front of a lot of people…totally looking like a mad woman. Me…? Patience…? I do patience as well as the Incredible Hulk (although I am pretty sure I don’t turn green). Last June, our family of five moved into an RV just outside of the city. The summer months were easy as the kids had every opportunity to run free and wild, but the winter has meant their wild is contained to our 200 sqft abode. To compound this situation our campground has struggled to stay financially afloat which has resulted in consistent periods of no electricity and that means no heat. As my husband and I watched camper after camper leave for greener pastures, we resolved to remain put. When this adventure began there was no doubting that God had us here for a reason – one greater than our circumstances. Our patience was stretching, yet our faith was strengthening.
Contrary to belief, patience takes more action than a passive waiting. Consider Hebrews 12:1, “Therefore since we also are surrounded with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which so easily besets us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” (NKJV) The word “patience” in this verse is most commonly translated with “endurance”. Does an athlete run a race with endurance by passively waiting for those lagging behind or gently tolerating those who cheat? Absolutely not! As believers in Christ, we know that patience comes from pushing through tough situations and battling out the difficulties life throws at us. As parents, we must realize that this is NOT an overnight transformation, and we WILL fail many times.
So, what’s the key? Prayer and Scripture. Romans 15:4-5 reads, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.” (NKJV) When Paul wrote this, he tied in patience with the reading of the Scripture so that we “might have hope”, indicating that a lack of patience could be a lack of time spent reading the scriptures; for the scriptures have the power to change our attitudes. This is a truth that I’ve personally experienced as my family has endured the uncertainty of our home.
With towel in hand, the campground was prepared to walk away in defeat but we knew God was not done. In fact, we knew He was just beginning and He wanted to use us as a result of our patience. We dug-in with prayer and watched in expectation as the campground’s six figure debt was paid in full and new life was breathed into the place. I’ve learned in my struggle with patience that every day will not be a win but God expects me to show up, and as long as I keep showing up God will be faithful to bring me through the circumstances I face.
Cassy Boettcher is an NCC protégé spouse, stay-at-home mother of three. She has a heart for the poor and an insatiable love for dogs. When she is not boy-wrangling, she can be found lifting weights, baking kale chips or watching the Animal Planet.