by Sue Likkel
I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40: 1-2 (NIV)
Have you ever read a chapter of the Bible and gasped, “That’s me!” I can relate to Psalm 40 in so many ways, with one exception: waiting patiently.
When I was in my slimy pit – one of my own making – He indeed pulled me out, setting my feet firmly on Him, the solid rock. My terrible choices and guilt put me in that pit and His grace lifted me up and out. While I was mucking around down there, I knew I was ignoring God, thinking I could dabble in my sin, but it didn’t take long for me to realize I was in over my head. Knowing I needed a Savior, I cried out.
These cries were anguished, as in, lying on the floor, begging God. Did I wait for Him patiently? Most certainly not. When we’re feeling the sting of our consequences, it’s natural for us to want them over immediately. Lord, send relief! However, I soon learned that I would indeed need patience as the waves of reality washed over me.
My wise counselor had me imagine standing on the shoreline during a storm. In the beginning, it feels like I’m there during a hurricane where the wind and waves pummel me, one after the other, with no respite. Over time, the waves subside, almost imperceptibly and I can stay on my feet for longer periods of time. It wasn’t days, but months before I could look at the skies more often than the waves, thanking God for allowing me to remain standing. Over time, the waves became more like a soft whoosh of water over my toes.
Not only did I need a lot of patience with myself as well as patience with the process, but I realized that patience comes with trust. If I don’t trust Jesus to save me, then I’ll try to fix the problem myself instead of waiting for His timing. I needed to trust that the process was just as important. Had I been rescued and immediately and been able to go on with my life, I would have missed all that I needed to know in order to avoid the traps that got me in the pit in the first place.
Patience will probably never be my strongest trait, but I’m growing in it – all because my God is patient. He is faithful in all He does and will never fail us. He is our rock. No firmer place exists.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Sue Likkel is a reader, writer, speaker, and teacher. A lover of words, she has spent decades in the classroom teaching English to middle and high schoolers. A child of God, she’s humbled and grateful for all He has done for her, like guiding her through challenges and blessing her with rich experiences. Native to Michigan but residing most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, she enjoys both the beaches and mountains with her husband, kids, and grandkids.
Join the conversation: How has God grown your patience?