As a teenager I wanted to knit a sweater with holes and a deep neckline, which was very modern at the time. I had to unravel the sweater 3 times because I had dropped a stitch. At the 4th time I threw the stuff in the corner and wanted to go buy myself a sweater.
In our society we have an outsider: patience. No one wants to be patient.
We get almost everything and that fast.
No time to cook? We call the pizza service.
Have trouble with school and the teachers, it’s easy to switch to another school.
wait with sex until marriage? Nonsense!
You have long-lasting problems in your marriage, then you get divorced. You’ll find a new partnerfast enough over Parship.
And what’s the problem?
Hebrews 10 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.
The problem is that you will not be able to receive what god has planned for you.
No fulfilled marriage and family without patience.
No successful job without patience.
No strong character without patience.
Human patience breaks easily . But divine patience is different:
Psalm 107 1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever!
I brought you a picture that expresses patience for me:
Divine patience holds by and is stronger than the hardest crises.
How can you train this divine patience?
1. Divine patience lets go
Divine patience is only received through continous crises. It starts when human patience is already broken and you loose hope.
Since I can remember my father has always been severely depressed. The whole family suffered a lot under his illness. He lost his job every 1-2 years, we always lived on the poverty line. The atmosphere at home was always marked by his melancholy. Fights and tears were common roommates.
I remember that we tried absolutely everything to make him well. Therapies, medications, healing services, fasting, daily prayer. Everything.
Shortly after I turned 16, it was very bad with him. He didn’t sleep any more, he fantasized and rose in supposedly divine visions. He fell into a psychosis. I cried out to God. I sat by his bed at night and read out psalms. But all our efforts were useless.
My brother and I had to take him to the psychiatric, closed clinic. On the way my father yelled behind me in the back seat and punched the back of my seat. That was the moment, my humanly hope and patience broke.
But what exactly had broken?
It’s like Christmas. You wish for only one explicit gift. You exactly explain to your parents what you want. Then you try everything to be the perfect daughter, so your parents really get you the gift, that you want. Then the disaster, you unwrap the gift , you tremble and …. it’s the wrong gift inside. You are devastated, because now it is too late. Christmas is over.
But just at that point you can make a super important decision: I let my expectations go in order to be thankful about my parents gift.
Divine patience lets go and trusts 100%, that God has the best for me.
On 2nd Mo 14:14 Jehovah will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.
Now it gets tricky!
Many people let go of their expectations of people and also of themselves, and ….. run away!
They think lletting go means giving up and abandonning.
Exactly what I did first:
2. Divine patience is faithful
When we lived at home without my father, it was a liberation. I thought, now that everything is over, I no longer need to pray.
During this time, I was only really aware of how much I wished for a Father who loves me and cares about me and my family. A deep pain erupted like a volcano. I immersed myself in movies and looked for guys who could replace my deep longings for protection and love. I felt free, but inwardly, strangely, always empty.
Ps 78.57 Like their fathers they were disloyal and faithless, as unreliable as a faulty bow.
Letting go and giving up makes me a limp bow. I can’t shoot any more arrows, let alone reach the goal! A flaccid sheet is unusable.
Keep a drawn bow!
Stay true to your way, your parents, your spouse, your calling that God has given you. Then the Divine patience in you is strong as the muscles of your spine. They give you an upright posture, if they are strong. But if they are weak, they only give you backaches.
Divine patience is faithful.
You’ll have notice at this point, of course: This is painful!
It feels as if you get beaten every day and don’t do anything against it.
Ok, I completely understand but I’m asking you to stay with me for a little longer. After letting go and being loyal it only one step remains until you will see results.
When my father came back home, the hope that he had changed was big. He actually got a job again!
3. Divine patience is merciful
However, it not even lasted 5 months, then he fell back into his old patterns. And he …. lost his job, in which we had invested so much hope. Again no money. Again he became manic and rushed us as a family into debt. I remember how my mother sat there …. she buried her face in her hands … totally desperate. I had such bad thoughts. And I despised my father for it … I yelled at him …. my soul fell into a deep coma.
But my mother (stepmother) had my way – despite their despair:
Elegy 3, 22 It is the goodness of the LORD, that we are not already destroyed, for his mercy has no end,
Hi 6:14 Anyone who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Divine patience is merciful.
A 100 euro note is worth 100 euros.
If you tear it, or rip it in pieces, trampel around on it, it looks bad. But does the value change?
If your father (or your mother) behaves badly. If he hits you, ignores you, leaves – does that change his value before God?
If your spouse sinned against you. The feelings of love disappear between you, does that change the value of your marriage before God?
If you fail in your job – does that change your worth before God?
We all need the grace of God, through which our value remains the same.
Be merciful – to yourself and your neighbor.
And then? When does the redemption of the permanent crisis finally come?
4. Patience brings out a new person in you
Ok, you are on the ground, you have a back seated all your needs and your feelings. You’re still stuck in the painful situation but instead of reacting aggressive, you’re merciful. Forgive the others. Are striving to be nice.
Your thoughts are probably like mine: “How long shall I bear this ???”
Now something very important happened. You are uprooted, from your ego. That is what the Bible calls “self-denial”. John the Baptist describes it so beautifully: “I need to lose weight ….!”
I read a Psalm of David, which really got me:
Psalm 74, 21 as I was grieved in my heart and my kidneys stung because I was a fool and knew nothing, I was like a beast before thee.
What hurts all the time in your soul all the time, is your old persona. As long as something hurts, your ego – Paul calls it the old person – is not dead yet.
You have to let him die but. How?
In the you are doing what the Psalm of David goes on to say:
Psalm 74, 23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee; … (And now I realize:) If I have only you (God), I ask nothing in heaven or earth.
John the Baptist further says: “I must become smaller so that YOU – JESUS -can become bigger in me!”
Jn 12:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.
If your ego dies, let Jesus be big in you. Dig your roots deep into Jesus and let them grow firmly. No storm will be able to rip them out. Only now can you really let your ego die.
Because you do not need it any more. You now have Jesus!
It is 32 years ago, that my father came out of the clinic.
I have learned in these 32 years, being a loyal daughter to my father, when I stopped looking for another father here on earth. I learned to pray for him, just over and over again. I have learned that God has carried us as a whole family through these tough times and each one of us has become a strong, happy person. We live as brothers and sisters with our families together in a community. Everyone in my family is happily married. I have learned that loyalty and mercy are stronger than separation.
My father still isn’t healthy today. He lives next to us with my mother (stepmother). When I go over to clean, he often yells at me: “This is madness! What are you doing? “My mother sits next to him and smiles at me encouragingly. Sometimes I warn my father that he should stop screaming or else I’ll have to send
my mother away for a couple of days to relax. (she turned 87 yesterday! ). Then he’s quite for a while..but ir doesn’t last very long. i
When I go, I give them both a long kiss on the cheek.
The love and respect that I have for my father today is bigger and more beautiful as the humanly love and respect, which was broken. It has its roots in Jesus. It is independent of heat and crises.
And my sweater? I went to my mother and asked her for advice and help. She knitted the sweater back to the point where I had stopped the last time, before I unraveled it again. Then she knitted a little further, so that it already looked pretty good. That motivated me. I knitted, she was knitting, I knitted … and it was done! I loved that sweater more than all of my others!
James: 12 Happy is he who passes the tests and firmly remains patient in faith. God crowns him with the crown, eternal life. He has promised so to all who love him.
God has a plan for you and your life. He wants to form a divine character within you. Trust in God, stay patient, loyal and have mercy. Then God let knit for you … um, fight. In the end you will be the winner.