Reading: 1 Timothy 1: 15-17
Paul is very grateful for Christ’s patience with him. It took many years of being Saul to shape Paul into who he was for Christ. Paul describes himself as the “worst of sinners” and describes Jesus’ patience as “unlimited”. I am reminded of the stories of grandmas who prayed and prayed for wayward grandsons for years and years and years. Then one day, often late in life, the grandson came to know Jesus Christ. The patience paid off. In both of these cases, grandma and Jesus had a love that was unending. Both had a patience that did not waver.
Patience is sometimes a struggle. We do not like to sit too long in a state of not knowing or when things are in limbo. When an issue or problem arises we want a solution right away. Fix it quick so that we can get on with life. I think this is why I struggle so when I get a cold or catch the flu. It has to run its course and it really tests my patience. Waiting for the results of a medical tests is the worst!
Our culture does not value patience in general. In our instant gratification society we want success right now. If something is broken, let’s change it right now. Often we would rather just go buy new than to take the time to repair what we have. When we take on a project, our first question is, “How long will this take”? Our eat-on-the-run, fast food society typifies the premium we place on our time.
And then… and then there is our journey of faith. It is something that never ends. For many this is quite a challenge to our ‘just tell me what I need to know now’ mentality. We can all look back to where we became a Christian, to that point when we claimed a personal relationship with Jesus for ourselves. We can also look at our faith now and see how we have matured in our faith over the years. We still have days or times when God reminds us that we still have some growing to do. We manage to get back on track and we thank God for the patience that is shown each of us over and over again.
John Wesley called our journey of faith the “journey towards perfection”. Perfection is a place we probably will never reach in this place, but may each day we live take us one step closer to Jesus Christ, the perfector of our faith.