Read |Psalm 1|
The New Year came at me like a boulder. I found myself frustrated with people, situations and even God. So much had been poured into my heart and, at the sound of the New Year's trumpets, I found myself winded. Frustration colored my temperament for much of January, with sweet relief coming in waves, as I found myself face first at the feet of Jesus.
I'm thankful for the reflection I've been encouraged to do, as I read one of this month's featured books in the Be-Held Book Community: In His Image by Jen Wilkin. I'm rested in chapter 8, "God Most Patient", where I am invited to remember and see anew the beauty, steadfastness and efficacy of God's patience towards me.
I was a sinner and therefore I sinned. Yet, while I was a sinner God was patient towards me. He did not kindle His anger, though it was justified. (Romans 6:23). Instead, He waited, without frustration, and with great expectation. For He knew the kindness He was working towards me and that it would prove effective. He was confident in Himself and His power to save. (Luke 4:21 and John 19:28 - 30).
Because He was patient, I was not consumed. (Lamentations 3:22). Because He was patient, His kindness found its way to me, to make me brand new. (2 Corinthians 5:15 - 19). To make me a saint: one whose nature is bent towards God. One who seeks His good pleasure, albeit imperfectly. (Romans 5:6-8 and Ephesians 5:8).
Today, I am a saint. Today, it is my essential nature to desire to please God. Today, I struggle to live faithfully in light of this nature. There is a tugging of what has passed. (Romans 7:15 - 24). There is the great unlearning of things once counted as wisdom and the call to the patient pursuit of true wisdom, with its beginning in the fear of God. (Proverbs 9:10 and Romans 12:1).
I grow weary of myself: the increase in knowledge and understanding, the demand it makes and my lagging agreement with God. Yet, God is not wearied. He is still patient with me in my becoming. He is steadily and creatively working in me His perfect character, through the company of sinners, the bearing of trials and suffering and the fellowship of the saints. In all His working is the scarlet thread of His love. (Philippians 1:4-6 and 2:12 -13).
I am learning, every time I come weary to Him and catch a glimpse of His unwearied presence, that He is emulating for me wisdom. He is showing me how to be as I become: Look at Me. I am not frustrated at your shaky gait. I am not between two opinions on you. I am patient. I am rejoicing at your small beginnings. I am committed to you. I am confident still, in my power to save you from the power of sin and bring you into a victorious future. I am being kind to you in the waiting and it is making possible your becoming. Be as I am. Be patient. Rejoice at the small beginnings. Stay committed to Me, like a tree planted by the streams of water, confident in my power to make you more than victorious: to make you bear much fruit in due season. Receive my kindness and delight as you are made more and more into the image of the Son.
Encourage yourself with this song by Albertina Walker and James Cleveland. Be patient with yourself and with others. God is not through with any of us yet. But, when He is, we shall come forth as pure gold:
As Be-Held Women we believe that true self-care is accomplished in a lifestyle of intimacy with Jesus Christ. We take care by drawing near to God through seeking and living the truth of God’s Word, by the power of His indwelling Holy Spirit. We are confident that in living the truth by His Holy Spirit we will be transformed into women who bear the image of Jesus Christ in spirit, soul and body-women who are empowered to bless many. Dear Be-Held Woman, seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God's Word, we offer you this Bible study guide to support you in your endeavors! Apply it to this week's Scripture readings.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. She leads the Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.