I have been a pastor here at Living Hope Church for a little more than 28 years. Wow! That is hard to believe. In many ways, it seems like just a few years ago that I started as a somewhat unaware 35-year-old youth pastor. A lot has happened in those 28 years, some good things and some not-so-good things. But I can assure you that God has been faithful to His Word and that all things have worked together for our good and for His glory. I also know that what the enemy has meant for evil, God has meant for good - for the salvation of many.
Have I learned a few things in those 28 years? I believe so. I want to share some of that in the next few blogs. As I reflect back on those years, I believe I have learned some patience. Certainly not in all of its fullness, but I have learned a degree of patience. I think the opposite of patience is impulsiveness. We want things done now. I'd like things to take place immediately: how I want and certainly when I want. That's the American way, isn't it? We don't want to wait for anything.
When Mr. Steinway, the creator of the Steinway piano, was asked by a salesman to try out a new aluminum pin, which he felt was superior to the old one, Mr. Steinway said he would put one in a piano and give it a trial. The salesman asked how long the trial would be, the elder Steinway said thoughtfully, "Oh, I'd say about 50 years."
Patience is a process of learning through life's experiences. Living Hope Church founding pastor, Jim Erickson, used to say often that if a decision is a correct one at the moment, it will be correct in a week from now as well. Good advice. Sometimes we make decisions on the spur of the moment based on feelings, hurts, trials, obstacles, or in the midst of a discouraging situation. I have found that waiting has never hurt me, but a hurried reaction or decision many times has. Can you say Amen to that?
Isaiah 40:31 says: "They that wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength". How that flies in the face of American Christians. The Bible teaches the value of waiting. And in the waiting time and in the waiting rooms that many of you may be in right now, there is a learning process and God is teaching you valuable things. He hasn't just put you in the back room. Up North Wisdom says that battle, that sickness, that struggle in your family and that hardship you're going through: that's a waiting time and you're praying and waiting to see what God will do. Friend, He'll be with you and teach you and talk to you and reveal amazing things to you. And really, you will ultimately say, "Thank you, Lord, for giving me a waiting room to grow.
Oh, and by the way, patience is the first definition of love. Blessings!!
2 weeks ago