Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Put Down the Carrot

IOW quote for February 1, 2008

He (God) is very patient with us when we are trying to be patient with Him.” Elisabeth Elliott

When I read this quote from Elisabeth Elliott it made me think of the relationship between a parent and their child. Allowing my memory to take it from there I recalled an incident that happened between my daughter and me when she was in the 8th grade. After a heated discussion over some issues going on in her young life she did her best to get in the last word by telling me, “Mom, I read some where that if an argument between a parent and a child winds up in a shouting match then the child has won.” Not that I wanted to admit it instantly but what she said made sense. I must say it was a phrase that has stuck with me to this day.

It didn’t take much of an effort to see the truth in this. When I was more patient with her she had a tendency to be more patient with me. All it took was one of us becoming impatient with each other and the whole thing would blow up in our faces. Although there were times when being patient with her didn’t always work and vise versa it was a successful strategy.

Our Father-daughter or Father-son relationship with God is no different. When we are patient with God He is much more patient with us. It gets rid of all the demanding, complaining, requesting this, and wanting that right now behavior. Replacing it with a much better behavior of trust, faith, and willingness to wait for what we know will be the very best.

All it takes is one of us getting impatient and the whole thing gets blow out of portion on our end of the relationship. Between my daughter and I it was a toss up on who was going to lose their patience first. However with God we know without a doubt we are the only one’s who seem to give in to the sin of impatient-ness.

What a sad sin it is too. It seems to start a snowball affect that never quits. The minute we start getting impatient with God the fight is on. We start to get annoyed and irritated and thinking things that shouldn’t be thought. Things such as, “God must not be listening to me. God doesn’t care. God must be punishing me for something because He’s not answering me.” Whaa whaa whaa…..If we would look real close and stop thinking about ourselves we would find Satan there in front of us dangling a carrot of lies for us to bite and eat off of.

If anyone were entitled to be impatient it should be God. Looking at our track record, the way we wonder, forget all He’s done for us, get off track, demand results, are ungrateful for what we do get, trying to run things off our time schedule instead of His. He’s the one you would think would be impatient all the time but He isn’t. Doesn’t make sense does it? Praise the Lord He has the patience He does. But it’s not going to last forever as some would love it to. Come judgment day what’s going to matter is not God’s patience with us but our track record towards Him and any un-repentance towards the things we were unwilling to give up in our lives such as our right to be impatient.

When times were at their roughest, my marriage was as steady as a cooked noodle trying to stand on its own and my epilepsy was taking away more than I had to give. One day I cried out to God impatiently and told Him to come down here right now and plant Himself on my couch so I could talk to Him. Good thing the lightning machine that people seem to think will strike them when they get out of hand wasn’t working that night. As I sat there staring at the couch in front of me I visualized Him sitting there. As I tried to picture what it would be like to have Him actually sitting there giving me answers to my troubles I failed to see one important visual. The illustration of His patience with me when I needed it the most, His gentleness when life wasn’t being so gentle with me. His love when I thought I was being abandoned. Forgive us Lord for looking the wrong way.

CLOSING THOUGHT: So where do we go to get His kind of patience? Uh oh, you better watch out it’s a known fact that whatever you do in life don’t ask God for patience! Why not? The answer you get from people is He will put you into a situation where you learn how to be patience and it’s never an easy lesson to take. They make it sound like He creates a circumstance just for that object lesson in life. I don’t think so. He doesn’t have to put us through some specially planned thing; everyday life is full of enough of those incidents where we would do well to learn what patience is all about. Learning about trusting God and having faith in His plans for our lives getting away from the crybaby lies that Satan tries to feed us that God doesn’t care. Never mistake God’s patience for not caring or that He’s not watching because He is looking daily and His caring seeps into all eternity for us. He’s there for us and we would do well in life to be as patient with Him as He is with us. Put down the carrot and pick up with God today.

This week, Bonnie is our host over at her site, Ink It Blog. Why don’t you wonder over there while still staying on track with Jesus and read and share with everyone on today’s quote. Patience isn’t easy to learn but it’s a lesson that pays off if we pay attention to it.


Heather@Mommymonk said...

I think God uses our children to sharpen our patience more than anything.

twinklemom said...

Wonderful example...I'm a SAHM and it's not a job for the weary and the fearful...They are great blessings and it was a great blessing from God that I was able to SAHM; It's amazing how through our children we learn priorities and patience that in turn translate to understanding more about what God needs and asks from us...it's not easy but in the end, it's worth it.

Bonnie W said...

Uh-oh. I can remember too many shouting matches from my kid's teenage years! But somehow we muddled through and they grew up to be wonderful adults.

I'm just sooooo glad for God's patience with me and hope I have learned a thing or two along the way.
Thanks for your great post today Karen.

Denise said...

Really good post, bless you.