Posts Tagged ‘patience’

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets. When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.” Luke 5:4-6

Our pastor preached on this account in Luke recently, talking mostly to the men about following their own agenda instead of God’s. But it “got me to thinking”, as we say down here in Texas.

What would Peter’s wife’s reaction have been? Did she wonder where in the world was her husband? Or did she learn from the other fishermen’s wives that they had gone back out in the waters because “that preacher” told them to do it? Did she hitch her hands on her hips and grouse?  Or maybe roll her eyes and stomp off mumbling, “Now supper will grow cold, and he promised he’d help me sweep the floor. Doesn’t he realize my mother is ill and can’t help me like she once did?”

Or did she smile and trust in this Jesus her husband spoke of with such passion.  Did his enthusiasm and new-found faith rub off on her? Did she wait on the shore, peering into the distance over the waves, excited about what might happen next?

Scholars say the men caught enough that day to provide income for their families for three years…the same amount of time they would be Jesus’ disciples during His earthly ministry. Did she wait to see the blessings of Peter’s obedience? Did she dance with joy when they had to gather other boats to bring in the biggest haul anyone had ever caught in that Sea of Galilee? Or had she gone back home, closed the door, and pouted?


Let’s take this beyond a husband and wife scenario:

How do you react when others don’t exactly do things the way you think they should?

How about when they follow a godly directive and become a success in what they set out to achieve? Are you happy for them, or does jealousy creep in?

Or do you wonder how come life is so tough for you right now and so easy for others? That their life seems abundant and “overflowing with fish” when you have been casting your nets until your arms are rubbery and not seeing results. Could it be that they were more quick to obey God’s commands no matter how hard or weird or unrealistic they were?

Do you dance with joy at their blessings or stomp away while mumbling?

Will you have faith to believe your day of abundance will come or think maybe God blesses others more than you? Perhaps, God is using circumstances in your life to prepare your nets for the right catch that hasn’t swum in your direction yet.

Do you have the faith and patience to wait, believing that a huge school of fish will veer near to your boat someday? And if it never happens, will you trust God to provide enough of a catch each day as you toil?

When it comes to reeling in what God wants us to catch, how many of us are willing to go out and try one more time…even though we have done it ten-hundred times without success?

How many opportunities have swum by us when we’ve already dragged our boats to shore?

Just some questions I pondered on the drive home from church…




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courtesy duanealley.com Royalty- Free Image by Corbis

courtesy duanealley.com
Royalty- Free Image by Corbis

Do you find it hard to wait?  If you are like most of us, you dislike waiting in line to be served, waiting at traffic lights, waiting in front of the microwave as lunch twirls around inside bombarded by heating waves, waiting for the tax refund….Yet, Scripture tell us we should wait.

Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27:14 NIV

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3 NIV

I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. Psalm 130:6 NIV

Many of us think waiting is inaction, doing nothing. But that is not true. Helen Lescheid, a devotional writer I follow, said this: “Waiting on God is not the same as doing nothing. The truth is, waiting requires tremendous faith and focus ”

Waiting means letting go of our control and our timing. It is to acknowledge that we cannot accomplish it on our own. We need assistance, be it the clerk at the DMV to approve our forms, the snarled rush hour traffic all wanting to enter the same intersection, our food to heat in a few minutes, or God to move in our lives. Life is about waiting. We may as well embrace it.

But there are things we can “do” while we wait. The time passes better for the one who p-r-a-y-s.

1.Pray. As you physically wait in a line, pray for those folks God brings to mind. Pray for those who are waiting with you, such as the woman with the unruly kids tugging on her pant leg. Pray for the old man bent over with a smoker’s cough. Pray for the young man who is dressed like a gang member. And as you wait on God to move in your life, pray for patience, strength to endure the in-between time, and wisdom to see the reasons for the waiting.

2. Reflect. Think on the past blessings in your life and praise God for them. Think about the outcomes when you patiently waited before and how the outcome was better for the effort.

3.Ask. If you get a tightness in your gut or begin to tap your foot, ask for peace and patience to envelop you. Ask for the butterflies to settle and your pulse to slow. Ask God to give you a sign that waiting is the correct thing to do.

4. Yield. Let go and let God. Sounds trite, but it can be so hard to pry your fingers from the situation and lay your hand in your lap, or fold them in prayer. Repeat to yourself the words of the Lord’s prayer: Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. 

5.SmileBe friendly, even if everyone else is grumpy. Talk with the person ahead or behind you and be a witness to the peace that passes  all understanding. Smiles are contagious. Brighten everyone else’s day and yours will brighten as well. And alone in your prayer corner, smile to God as you pray. Let Him fill you with joy.

..but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
    they shall run and not be weary,
    they shall walk and not faint..  Isaiah 40:31 RSV

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ID-100131553Maybe some of you who follow me on Facebook heard of my plight…

During the recent move to a new apartment, I lost my desktop computer to damage. Not only that, but my laptop and projector I use for all my talks and workshops “walked away”.  We also were without TV for two days.

With tongue firmly planted in my cheek, I’d posted before the move that I’d be out of cyberspace for a day or so – could I handle it?

God tested me on that. Big time.

I wish I could tell you my piety kicked in and I enjoyed being still and reconnecting with my Savior. I tired, really I did. But… the hush was deafening. After a few minutes, I’d jump up to find something to “do.” In fact, in those three days, I totally exhausted myself by unpacking every box, hanging the curtains and the pictures, and rearranging the knick-knacks several times.

Finally, my sweet techie son “Humpty-Dumptied” parts from my desk top and from an old one he had, and not only got me up and running in three days but re-downloaded all my flies. He also got the TV and wireless networking up and running. I praise the Lord for my son’s God-given intelligence and patience when it come to electronics.

Two things I learned:

First – I need to turn off the electronics more often and get back to quietness and meditation (listening) with my Lord. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but He showed me differently.

Second – Whatever in our lives we feel is damaged, burned out, or missing a vital function, God as the Master techie can piece back together and make work again–sometimes with the talents of others. We just need to stay patient and prayerful in the process.

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A blog I follow (iChristian http://steverebus.com/) gives a quote for the day. Recently, this one was from John Calvin, a famous Protestant reformer and theologian who lived in the 1500’s.                                   There is no place for faith if we expect God to immediately fulfill His promises.

And to think he wrote that 500 years ago – back in the slooowwwer days before modern technology was even a future thought. Look at us today!

courtesy duanealley.com Royalty- Free Image by Corbis

courtesy duanealley.com
Royalty- Free Image by Corbis

We are such a microwave society.  We want things now.

We sigh when we get someone’s voice mail or they don’t text us back within a minute.

We tap the steering wheel with our fingers if the red light doesn’t change within 30 seconds, or huff into our collars if there are two people in line ahead of us at the checkout counter.

If our computer takes more than a few seconds to respond to our search, it must have a virus, right?

How often do we expect our prayers to be answered before we get up off our knees, and then when it doesn’t, assume God is not listening?


Did you know the word “WAIT” is used almost 300 times in the Bible. I think God knows waiting is not a human virtue. It’s hard to wait when your are a mortal confined to only knowing the here and now.

The next time your faith is on the edge of morphing into impatience, read one of these verses:

I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:13-14

I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.  Micah 7:7


for more about resting and waiting on God in today’s hectic lifestyle , please consider my new book: Squeeze More God-time into Your Day. You can download it in eBook format, or yes, wait for it to be delivered in paperback.

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?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????I hung a bird feeder on the little tree outside my apartment patio. The landscape beyond it slopes down towards the next unit of apartments below. Today, while my coffee is dripping, I watch as doves waddle up the knoll towards the feeder. No hurry. No worry.

Did they know the squirrel had been there picking through for the sunflower seeds, and in the process, had scattered enough seed on the ground for them to fill their little bellies?

Even though it was a cold, wet morning– up they came. I imagined them smacking their lips in anticipation, if they had lips. They were that sure there would be seed waiting for them.  Quietly and calmly they approached, as if knowing just what they needed to stave off the chill of the day lay on the ground–waiting only for them.

Am I that way with God’s blessings? Do I patiently approach the throne, trusting He has cast them in His perfect timing? Do I have the faith of the turtle doves, and the wisdom, to detect His favor towards me? Or am I rushing up the hill, panting, out of breath. Do I get there at the wrong time, become anxious, then ask God, “Where are You? Why haven’t You answered my prayer?”

He has – it may be in process, as a squirrel who has just leapt out of my sight to scatter the seeds of faith and hope I need to make it through the chill of the day. Manna to sustain me through whatever comes my way. God always provides.

Take a lesson from the doves. Watch today with calm anticipation to  see how He acts in your life. Then in faith, waddle peacefully towards it, confident it is there, especially for you.

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dreamstimefree_209775Visiting a friend, I noticed a little  dog in the backyard. When she heard her master’s voice she came to the slider and perched, ears cocked, and waited. She was unable to reach up and open the sliding glass herself. But she knew her master would come over and let her in.

However,  my friend waited until everyone at the gathering had come through the front door and found a seat. She didn’t want wilds of the street to be too tempting, or for the little dog to get underfoot. My friend knew when the best time to open the door would be. The dog sat there patiently and didn’t even bark. That is trust.

As my friend made her way to the glass door, the little dog sat up and wagged her tail back and forth so rapidly that it became a blur of fur. She stood, her weight shifted from leg to leg and her eyes were fixed on the hand as it reached for the handle. With each wag I could almost hear the doggie’s enthusiastic thoughts –

“My master is here. My master noticed me and is coming to meet me. My master is opening a way for me.”

Dearest Lord, May I be so eager to receive You. Your death on the cross opened a way for me to enter into Your presence. My prayers summon You to the Heavenly slider between earth and eternity. May I have the patience of that little puppy to know You will open doors for me in Your timing when it is right. May I wait in trust and obedient certainty, then be quick to respond in thanksgiving and praise. Amen.


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