This week's devotion is offered by the
Aurora District Superintendent, Rev. Jeffry Bross.
“Every one, though born of God in an instant, yea and sanctified in an instant, yet undoubtedly grows by slow degrees…” – John Wesley, Letter, 27 June 1760 Are you impatient right now? Impatient with politics? Impatient with the economy? Impatient with the pandemic and stay-at-home work and school? Impatient with ___________ (add your own impatient moment here)? I often get impatient. I want things done right away and done correctly. I often feel like that commercial with the message: “it’s my money and I want it now!” It’s my ministry and I want it now. Patience is one of the many things I need to work on in 2021. One of the reasons I desire more patience is not only for my own sanity but because it honors God. We read in Scripture: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens” - Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV) As we seek God, we must understand God’s timing and God’s ongoing work in our lives even when we feel God is absent. In order to live a patient Christian life, I have drawn upon the wisdom of many over the years and this is how I try to work on my patience in my journey. I invite you to become a more patient disciple in 2021 through the following exercises:
Spend moments looking backwards. It is hard to know how far you have actually traveled or grown if you don’t look back to where you once were. To prove that to yourself, look at a picture of yourself from only a few years ago and compare it to a recent one. It is amazing how quickly we really do change.
Focus on the good works and promises of God. One of the reasons we can be impatient is that we do not trust enough that God is indeed working for the good in us.
Be adaptable. Sometimes our impatience comes because we set our minds on a certain outcome and it may not be God’s will. When we are free to follow God and not simply ourselves, we become less impatient.
Be humble. If we think everything is up to us, we will be impatient to see the successes and will be impatient with others if they do not do it the way we want them to. Allow others and God to participate and celebrate what they do and how they do it.
Celebrate the movement. Even if we do not move quickly, we do move. Even if we move backwards, we are moving, growing and learning.
Honor God in 2021 and learn the gift of patience even in the midst of the problems that we have and continue to encounter as a church and world. As Martin Luther King Jr. once prayed: “O God, we thank you for the lives of great saints and prophets in the past, who have revealed to us that we can stand up amid the problems and difficulties and trials of life and not give in. We thank you for our fore parents, who've given us something in the midst of the darkness of exploitation and oppression to keep going. Grant that we will go on with the proper faith and the proper determination of will, so that we will be able to make a creative contribution to this world. In the name and spirit of Jesus we pray.” Rev. Jeffry Bross Aurora District Superintendent