I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:3-6 (NIV)
Why aren’t I making more progress? Why aren’t I advancing more quickly in my faith? Why aren’t I bolder? Why aren’t I stronger? Why am I not bearing more fruit for your kingdom and bringing more glory to your name? Why aren’t I shining more brightly for you in this dark world? You are impatient. Yes, I am impatient. There is no doubt about that. That’s not good. Why is that? Let’s talk about impatience. I’d like that.
What good has impatience brought into your life? How has being impatient helped you? I’m not sure that impatience has helped me in any way. What has happened to you when you have become impatient? I have been discouraged and depressed when I have allowed myself to become impatient. Impatience has probably hindered rather than helped your work to continue in and through me. Probably? No, certainly. How so? It is very hard to hear your voice when I am impatient. It is very difficult to know how you are guiding me when I am impatient. It is almost impossible to know what you are giving me to do for you when I am impatient. Impatience has often made me blind and deaf to your activity in and through my life. Yes, it has.
Why are you impatient? What are your expectations? How do you think I will be working in and through your life? I’m not sure what you are asking me. Will I change you all at once? Will I give you all I have for you all at one time? Will you be completely changed in an instant? No, not in this life. Your work in and through me will be gradual. Your work in and through me will occur day by day as I follow you. Why is that? You want me to live in an intimate relationship with you. I am molded and shaped and changed as I spend time with you in your presence. I am becoming more like you as I spend time with you. Now you see me in part and you are being changed in part each and every day as you live in an intimate relationship with me. One day you will see me in full, then you will be completely changed. I look forward to that day, with great anticipation. That’s good.
For now, can you accept the work that I am doing in you? For now, can you accept the pace at which I am changing you? You know best. I want your plan. I want what you have for me when you have it for me. I don’t want to run ahead of you or lag behind you. I will be patient. I will welcome you to work in and through my life when, where, why and how you will. That will be very good.
Heavenly Father, thank you for making me a partner in sharing the Gospel. Thank you for continuing your good work in me, day by day as I follow you. Guide my prayers for all my fellow partners in the Gospel. Make us all fruitful for your kingdom and glory. Amen
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