I have been an impatient sort. One of my many flaws. With my spiritual growth, I have often been impatient with God. I want holiness now—not later. And I would certainly appreciate a painless path, by the way.
Such demands of immediate and painless are not included in God’s plan, I have found. God is the God of time. He is never rushed. God is sometimes the God of pain. He allowed the cross. But He only allows as much pain as is necessary for His will to be accomplished. His will is redemption. His requirement is holiness.
Maybe some souls are so soft toward God that they require less time and less pain in their sanctification process. Not mine. My heart can be stubborn and hard. Basically, I’m a slow learner requiring such repetitious lessons I’m surprised by God’s patience with me. But as time goes on, I am learning patience exactly BECAUSE of God’s patience with me.
He is God of the universe. I’m but a bug! He could squash me in a minute, I know. Instead, He loves me and woos me and leads me along the path toward His holy self! How CRAZY is that?! Perfect God loving so imperfect me. Crazy wonderful. That’s what He is.
Indeed, He pursues me with His patient love, His slow-to-anger love. To accept such patient love means to become patient with myself and patient with others in the growth process–in the perfecting process. God requires holiness because He is holy. And holiness does not happen instantly. That’s what this life is for. So many life lessons on the road to holiness there are. If we accept them as learning lessons, we grow. If we rebel against them as inconvenient pains, we stall.
Flowers seem to understand God’s way. They sit in their soil, suck up their God-provided water and food, and bloom when it’s time. In God’s time, they bloom. Some bloom early. That’s the way they were made. Some bloom late. That’s the way they were made. Either way, their job is to absorb and bloom—absorb God’s grace of rain and soil nutrients and bloom when it’s time.
Morning coffee in hand, I stroll through my gardens. It’s late August. April daffodils are gone. May lupines are gone. June irises are gone. July coneflowers and daylilies are gone. All are done now. It’s late August—zinnias bloom—mums bloom—black-eyed susans bloom–sunflowers bloom. They are late but not less. Just as impressive—they are, in their own bloom time.
Let us not become discouraged on this path of life—this path toward holiness—this path with God. He is the Master Gardener. We are His precious, valuable, perennial stock. Like the flowers, all we need do is continue in His presence, absorb the living water and soul-nourishing nutrients of truth He scatters in His word. Inevitably, in such holy soil, we will bloom—in His time.
What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on men. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:9-11