View of Patience
By Paula Marolewski
Patience. A virtue much sought, a commodity to be utterly desired.
Stillness of soul in the midst of turmoil, perseverance in the
face of trials, undisturbed faith under the onslaught of evil.
Maybe. Maybe not.
Mulling over the word, I found a brief flash of clarity: a redefining
of my understanding, a sigh of relief for my most impatient soul.
And that was in the simple translation from the Hebrew that defines
patience as something slightly different --
Longsuffering. Perhaps patience is not stillness of the soul,
but the tenacious clinging of the spirit to God’s promise
in spite of appearances.
Perhaps it is the sometimes strong grip, sometimes desperate grasp
on hope when trials surmount what we believe we are able to bear.
Perhaps it is blind faith in the midst of doubt; a faith that
can no longer see, nor hear, nor comprehend, but believes with
the desperate edge of conviction: the conviction that without faith,
all will indeed be lost.
But whatever it is, I know this now: patience hurts.
Longsuffering. It might indeed be the unbroken bond within the
soul that affirms our trust in an almighty God, but it comes at
a price. It comes at the price of tears, and pain, and sorrow.
Tears come when the prodigal will not return home, when the routine
of daily life becomes a rut that threatens to bury you, when money
becomes a memory with no hope.
Pain rears its head, ugly and intrusive, in hospital rooms, at
gravesides, and in empty living rooms that echo with joys once
known or hurts once suffered.
And sorrow: sorrow for the hurts you can only watch but cannot
heal, sorrow for sins you can repent but never forget, sorrow for
lost dreams and hopes that you do not know if God will raise from
the ashes in resurrection.
The word ‘patience’ lulls us into a false sense of
security: safe from the wrenching of the soul and the stretching
of our spirits to the limit.
‘Longsuffering’ leaves no such illusions.
Longsuffering. It comes at a price, and to call it a virtue is
to diminish the impact of what it truly is when once it has left
its mark on our soul.
For it is a word that describes the very heart of God -- the God
who is longsuffering . . .
© 2001 Paula Marolewski
Article Source: http://www.sinkyourroots.com
About the Author:
Paula J. Marolewski provides challenging and interactive adult Bible
studies for individuals, Bible studies, small groups, and adult Sunday School
classes at Sink Your Roots. Studies
include such topics as Debunking
the Myths about Knowing God's Will. The site also offers free weekly Seedlings - “Little
thoughts that grow big results.”