In Theory: Patience is a fruit of the Spirit—it is important for us to show patience to others as we reflect who God is. I know that I am so underserving of the endless patience God has already shown me throughout my life as I fail again and again. It is important for us to have patience with God. His timing is perfect and when we get angry when He is not doing what we want…well, you can tell just by thinking about it, that’s a little backwards. To have patience I have to trust that God is in control and knows exactly what He’s doing.
In Practice: During the first week I was in the States I got poison ivy all over. If you have ever had it, you know that it is miserable and takes a lot of patience in the intense itching, the sleepless nights, and just in taking so long for it to go away. So that was my first challenge. Then throughout the summer God continued to challenge me in having patience with my family, with living at Grandma’s, with having to go out somewhere with free Wi-Fi to use the internet, and with the delay with my visa. These are all fine and life goes on, but I was surprised by the attitude that came out of me in certain situations—an attitude of pride and a sense of entitlement to things going my way.
So what do I do? My visa for China is having major complications, so it looks like I will be here for another month. Of course, I am asking all the “why” questions and wondering whether I was supposed to go in the first place. But I am still certain that this is what God is leading me to do—just not in the way that I thought it would happen. In this situation especially, there is nothing I can physically do to work it out. I have to choose to trust and rely on Him to take care of it—not only in my head, but in my heart and my attitude. Then I thought if I’m here, I might get some sort of job to help pay for things and give me something to do. Well, I slipped in the rain and ruined my knee so that will be impossible.
I was reading back over my journal from the end of my time in Cambodia, and read how I prayed that God would prepare my heart to serve at a new school and to love my new students because I did not feel that it would be possible. Maybe God is providing for this request through my extended time of rest and waiting. The battle against my human nature and against my brain continues and my angry moments don’t go away, but I want to choose to trust, choose to let go and allow God to do what He is doing.