“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:1-2…..
I’m a woman of words, lots of them sometimes, often really, sometimes too many of them, sometimes entirely the wrong ones, sometimes just the right ones, but no matter what, words tend to pour forth from me, whether verbally, or in writing, and I tend to notice them, too, when the rest of the world is looking in another direction, or skips right over them, I tend to see things when it comes to words not everybody else may see, which goes with the territory of being a woman of words. So it came as no surprise when I almost immediately noticed the words “patience” and “patients” in a correspondence a brother in the Lord had sent me from quite far away.
The words didn’t just stand out because of how the words are spelled differently and have a different meaning but sound exactly like. They stood out, most importantly, because of the message behind them. A message, I strongly believe, bears hearing. My brother in the Lord was sharing a bit of his testimony with me and included in his sharing how though the Lord hadn’t necessarily called him into lifelong work in a hospital setting, the Lord had in fact provided my brother in the Lord with a season of work at a hospital.
What did the Lord do in this season of the man’s life? The Lord used the patients to teach my brother in the Lord patience. Do you know something? Sometimes we go through seasons in our lives when we can’t for the life of us figure out what we’re doing in certain places, at certain jobs, in certain relationships, visiting certain places, dealing with one situation or another, why our circumstances are a certain way, and not another way, how we landed somewhere we never dreamed of being, or planned to be, how something in that season of our lives could possibly get us any closer to where God is taking us, or where we have dreamed of going, etc. But right in the midst of it all, if we’re surrendered to the Lord, and our eyes and ears and hearts are wide open, we find either right then or there – or in retrospect – that the Lord is doing something in that very season of our lives, with those very situations and circumstances, to further prepare us for where He is taking us next – or down the road.
The most important preparation of all is how God almighty transforms Christ’s followers over time, growing us in His image, conforming us to Himself, by His Spirit through His Word, and right in the midst of the details and seasons of our lives, because He is drawing us ever closer to Himself and preparing us to spend eternity with Him. This is not all. God also prepares us for the rest of our lives on this earth, for what He is calling us to do, for how He is calling us to serve Him, for how He will use us to love and bless and help and serve others, etc.
I wonder how often we are so caught up in what we want, or what we don’t want, or what feels good or what is hard, or where we want to be or don’t want to be, or in the future, or past, instead of right where we are, that we miss what the Lord is doing right here, right now, right where we are, in this season of our lives, as He refines us and makes us ever more like Himself, in preparation.
My brother in the Lord learned patience by being in an environment filled with patients – in that season of his life.
What season are you in, friend? Is it possible the Lord is using the season you’re in, and the circumstances of this season, to teach you something, to test you in some way, to change you, to prepare you, etc.? Is it possible He’s using this season to draw you closer to Himself? Are you fully surrendered to Him? Or, have you been fighting your current circumstances, and wishing desperately you were in a different season, instead of yielding yourself to the Lord and letting Him lead the way?
Sometimes we are in fact facing circumstances that are the yucky consequences of our sin and rebellion, and we find we have arrived where we are and are facing what we face because we had our backs turned on God. We need to turn back to Him, undoubtedly! But sometimes we’re simply in a season of our lives God in fact has ordained, and we’re so desirous to be in a different season that we may miss what in fact the Lord wants to do in this season.
Seek the Lord, friend, if this message is for you. See what He shows you. And always, always, always, dig deep – and daily -and devotedly into God’s Word, the Bible, as you seek Him, and seek godly counsel if and as He leads you from fellow Christ followers strongly grounded in His Word, and remember to assemble and worship the Lord and learn about Him in a regular gathering of Christ followers, as you press into the Lord, as you seek Him, as you wait on Him, as you hear from Him, as you learn day by day to walk in the love and light and blessedness of the Lord God almighty through Christ Jesus who is forever and ever Lord! Amen!