Impatience

 

Businessman runningMy wife would not call me a patient person. I can’t stand to drive behind people driving too slowly. I also don’t like to stand in line and wait. I can give many more examples. Over the years the Lord has been teaching me patience. I don’t always see His plan unfolding when I’m in the middle of it. I’m learning to be patient as He moves and shapes things around me.

The Israelites had gotten right up to the land they were to inherit and because of the fear delivered by the 10 bad spies, they turned the entire nation around and started going a different route. The Lord had been frustrated with His people, but He was still providing for them. Their patience was short though. Check this out…

4 They travelled from Mount Hor along the route to the Red Sea,[c] to go round Edom. But the people grew impatient on the way; 5 they spoke against God and against Moses, and said, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? There is no bread! There is no water! And we detest this miserable food!’

6 Then the Lord sent venomous snakes among them; they bit the people and many Israelites died. 7 The people came to Moses and said, ‘We sinned when we spoke against the Lord and against you. Pray that the Lord will take the snakes away from us.’ So Moses prayed for the people.

8 The Lord said to Moses, ‘Make a snake and put it up on a pole; anyone who is bitten can look at it and live.’ 9 So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, they lived. (Numbers 21:4-9 NIV)

Jesus referenced this event several years later when He said, 14 “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, 15 that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” (John 3:14-15 NIV)

When I get impatient with the Lord, it’s on me. I must learn to trust His timing, His plan and certainly His power. I don’t always understand why certain things happen, but I understand Who He is. He is guiding my steps to get me home.

I heard a song the other day while attending the funeral of a sweet little 4 year old boy named Jake. The song was chosen by his parents and it moved my heart. The song is “Believe” recorded by Brooks and Dunn. The WORDS WRITTEN IN RED tells me that there’s more to life than just what I can see. I’m determined to be patient as His plan unfolds.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Push Back

Woman talking through a megaphone and a man plugging his earsThere are times when I strongly disagree with an idea or a direction of the leadership that I’m under. We live in a democratic society so I can disagree and if done properly, I will not be perceived as “disagreeable”. I may very well have a different perspective than others in leadership. This is what I call “push back” – a disagreement over ideas, plans or procedures. Often the way I “push back” is as significant as the very reason I push back in the first place. There are some people who always “push back” – in fact they are secretly (or not secretly) known as troublemakers.

Moses did some push back on God. I’m really not sure this was a good idea, but the Lord knew Moses heart and accommodated him. Check this out…

10 Moses said to the Lord, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’

11 The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’

13 But Moses said, ‘Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.’

14 Then the Lord’s anger burned against Moses and he said, ‘What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and he will be glad to see you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so that you can perform the signs with it.’ (Exodus 4:10-17 NIV)

God really speaks into Moses and discusses this. I love it when the Lord asked Moses: “Who made your mouth?” He is obviously pushing back on Moses’ push back. The Lord had just given Moses three miraculous signs so that when people didn’t believe God had spoken to him, he could pull these “signs” out and show people. The first sign was that his staff would become a snake when he throws it to the ground. The second is Moses putting his hand inside his coat and pulling it out leprous and then putting it back inside the coat a second time and it’s completely healed and normal. The third sign was designed for Pharaoh himself as Moses was to take blood from the Nile river (that flowed through Egypt) and pour the water on the ground and it would become blood. The Lord clearly had this situation planned out and Moses was to be the leader of God’s people.

I think that this story reminds me that when God calls me to do something or say something on His behalf, He will give me the tools I need to carry it out. I don’t always feel qualified but the very fact that He called me to do or go is qualification enough. I don’t ever want to “push back” on the Lord. I want to grow in my trust, respect and honor of Him.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Gracious

 

Thoughtful little girlThis word carries all sorts of cool meanings. It means: “courteous, kind and pleasant”. The root of the word is one of my favorite words: grace. The Lord is the Author and Inventor of Grace. He displays His gracious love and mercy to me all the time.

Abraham walked with God and became known as a “friend of God”. The Lord had promised to make Abraham a great nation, but had not fulfilled that promise yet. Abraham was an old, old man when God showed up and showed out. Check this out…

1 Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. 4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. 5 Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.

6 Sarah said, ‘God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me.’ 7 And she added, ‘Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age.’ (Genesis 21:1-7 NIV)

It takes incredible patience on Abraham’s part to wait for the Lord. Sarah was overwhelmed with gratitude to be able to be a Mom. I don’t always understand the ways of the Lord, but I’m learning to trust His Grace-filled heart. He knows what is best for me. He does what is best for me. I can’t always see His Plan through the pain, but there is ALWAYS a plan. The Lord is gracious to me all the time. His mercy is overwhelming at times. I want to be patient as the Lord unfolds all the plans He has for me. I want to be faithful while waiting.

Pressing On!

Dwayne

Wait

Busy business person juggles time clockTo me this word means patience. It means staying where I’m at until something else happens. I have to confess; I’m pretty bad at waiting. I’m not a patient shopper, although I’m improving on this one. I hate traffic jams. I’m not real patient when the Lord tells me to wait either. He has a plan and I’m in it. I must learn to operate in His realm of time instead of demanding everything happen when I want it to happen. Check this out….

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,

    and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord

    more than watchmen wait for the morning,

    more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord,

    for with the Lord is unfailing love

    and with him is full redemption. (Psalm 130:5-7 NIV)

 

As I read the Word of God, I’m learning more about His heart and His timing and for me. I don’t always understand His timing, but I trust Him. I’m putting my hope for the future in His hands. I put my hope for eternity in His hands. I also trust Him to guide my steps in business. I need His Wisdom and discernment in all areas of my life.

I worked as a security guard while in college and I worked the night shift. I remember how long the nights seem and how hard it was at times to make it to the quitting time. I will wait upon the Lord and He will not disappoint me. He is always “spot on” with His timing. Waiting on Him is my part.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Endure

EnduranceThis is a word that makes me think of a struggle to keep on keeping on. In fact the word endure means to “suffer patiently” or “remain in existence”.  When I change the word to “endurance” it is connected to the same root word – just the “power of enduring”.  The Psalmist uses this word to describe the love of God. Check this out….

 1 Praise the Lord.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    his love endures forever.
2 Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord

    or fully declare his praise?
3 Blessed are those who act justly,

    who always do what is right. (Psalm 106:1-3 NIV)

 

The Psalmist opens up this Psalm with praise to the Lord for His enduring love. He then goes on to a history lesson of sorts of how the Lord has had enduring love for his people as they have rebelled time and time again.

I must take a look at my life and my heart as know that the Lord’s love endures for me. I’m aware that there are times I’ve hurt His heart with my choices of behavior or words. His love for me is enduring and incredibly patient as I figure out His will and His way for me to live.  I can’t begin to express my gratitude for His endurance with me while I declare His praise and try to act justly.  He loves it when I “get it”. He loves it when I “do what is right”. His love never gives up and never runs out. He defines the very word patient. I’m so thankful for His enduring love for me. I’m praising His Name because of that amazing love.

Pressing On!
Dwayne

Patience & Trust

Pocket watch with timing signThese are two words that aren’t always together. Neither one is a “strong suit” of mine. I have never been known for my patience, but I’m still learning and growing. My trust in the Lord has grown a lot in recent years. There have been times that I’ve felt like I had no choice but to trust in Him. I believe that my trust in Him has grown since making the study of His Word a big priority.

In some of the Psalms I notice everyday struggles as well as monumental struggles. David is so transparent and real. I can relate to his struggle. Check this out…

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts

    and day after day have sorrow in my heart?

    How long will my enemy triumph over me?
But I trust in your unfailing love;

    my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the Lord’s praise,

    for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13:1-2;5-6 NIV)

 

At the end of the day, I’m still growing in my trust of the Lord. As I get to know Him more and more, I realize that my patience will grow too. As I wait on the Lord to work in my life, my capacity for patience is expanded and rewarded. He loves it when I really trust Him with the details of my life. I’ve learned that when I don’t trust Him, I still can’t control everything. I’m a lot less stressed when I give everything over to His Will and His Timing.  I’m going to “camp out” in Trusting the Lord today.

Pressing On!
Dwayne