Tuesday, May 13, 2008

patience in suffering as we wait

It seems that patience is God's word for my week.

I spent the weekend with good friends in Sydney. On Saturday we went to Equip, where us wide-eyed Melbournians sat surrounded by thousands of women eager to learn how to live as God's daughters.

Ever seen 3,000 women cry simultaneously over the heart-rending stories of 3 women struggling with singleness, the loss of a longed-for baby, and a daughter nearly lost to addiction? No? Well, I didn't either, I was too busy hunting for tissues.

In God's good providence, I pre-posted a blog last Saturday on patience. And the topic of the first talk at Equip was - wait for it - patience. Patience in suffering. Patience as we wait for Jesus' return.

Di Warren spoke on James 5: "Be patient until the Lord's coming" (Jam. 5:7). She spoke with honesty about the patient trust in God required during her own experience of suffering, when her husband was hospitalised after a recent bike accident.

I've been reflecting on the indispensable quality of patience, so I nodded furiously (on the inside, at least) when she said, "Being a Christian means being patient. Intrinsic to the Christian life is patience."

Di reminded us that we live in the now and the not yet, the time between Jesus' first and second coming. We live for God, and we wait. We wait patiently, and in patience we pray. We wait through suffering, when every day feels like an eternity. We wait for our fairytale ending, when what is hard will be gone, and what is good will remain forever.

In patience we pray, we trust, and we wait.

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. (Rev. 22:20)

I'll tell you more about what I learnt at Equip and during my time in Sydney over the next few days - about prayer, motherhood, and the woman I want to become.

But if you're feeling impatient to find out more, Nicole blogged about Equip today.

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