Patience is a virtue: You can either see it as a gift or a heartache.
I picked up my devotional Jesus Calling for the third time in as many days. I’ll admit I hadn’t taken the time to read it since September. I’d forgotten how soothing those words were for me.
Having gone to sleep rather early last night, the words I’d read before I drifted off settled a tired soul. As much as I try to keep my heart, eyes and ears pointed toward Jesus; I easily forget how desperate I am for the promises I read in His Word.
Jesus Calling reminded me of this deficit. It is far too easy for us to attempt to “sail the waters” we navigate on our own. We can think all we want about how “skilled” we are to steer ourselves, when that simply isn’t true. Just as a boat must be designed, crafted and constructed by a “master builder,” for it to be sea-worthy – we are no different.
Our master builder knew exactly what He was doing when he put you and I together. We were hand crafted. There were no errors in putting us together. But God took his craftsmanship a step further and gave us a differentiating factor, free will. While we are perfectly made, he wanted to make sure we LOVED him because we WANTED to. Not because of our design.
I am observing the “Cost” of free will during this advent season. My father-in-law is staying with our family for Christmas. Through a series of discussions with him this summer he pointedly told me that he does not believe in Jesus. I wasn’t looking to convert him, but to understand him.
(Jesus has taught me that it is not my job to CHANGE anyone. That clearly is something only God can do, if it is His will.)
What i have quickly observed is that what my fil lacks – faith in God/Jesus – puts him in a precarious position. It’s hard to find peace, joy and love when the only human you have loved has died and the concept of faith is foreign to you. He LIVED for my mil. And while there might not seem to be harm in living through that perspective…the ramifications of doing so are profound. If you and I focus on anything other than Christ for our salvation, we will find ourselves in darkness, struggling and lost.
Part of my Christmas present last year to my fil/Grandpa, was to write him a heartfelt letter about why he had to find meaning, to go on to not give up. Grandpa hasn’t given up and he continues living – though I can see the heartache in his eyes. He is (understandably) frustrated and very sad. I continue to pray for him.
That God will lighten the burden consuming his heart.
That maybe God will remove the “blinders” to see who Jesus is.
He believes that the only thing that matters is what we can see & anything “unseen” isn’t real.
I cannot change his mind for him. He has the gift of free will.
But as much and as many times as I have walked with my Lord and Savior through the fires of refinement (and I continue to do so) it is utterly painful to watch someone experience pain through loss and NOT be willing to do so with Jesus at their side.
Now I understand why Jesus weeps…
And that’s why I am posting Casting Crowns song: What this World Needs
It is an intense video, but we live in a world where spiritual warfare isn’t just a sci-fi movie: It’s reality.
Keep on Shining YOUR light!