Read |2 Peter 3: 1 - 9|
Fairly recently, Biologists were able to observe a female octopus of the specie Granelodone boreopacifica clutching unto her eggs in the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. To their surprise the brooding process took 4 ½ years, but the mother octopus was constantly on guard fending the eggs from predators. It is thought that during that whole time, the mother did not eat. She had put the interests of her babies before her own and was willing to sacrifice her life. The Biologists explained that when this particular specie's eggs hatch they skip the juvenile stage, and emerge like mini adults, allowing for a better chance of surviving the dangerous, dark, cold and unfriendly world of the deep ocean. The mother’s patience displayed in such maternal care was worth it.
The word “patience” rolls off our tongues far too easily. Many of us learnt from Kindergarten that the answer, “Be kind, loving and patient”, to the question “How can you be good girls?” would get us good marks-a positive reaction. As we focus on patience, let us reflect seriously and honestly on that word we take for granted.
Patience is more than waiting. Rather, it is defined as “the capacity to tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without becoming angry or upset” (Concise Oxford Dictionary Eleventh Edition revised 2009).
I work quite often with children, some of whom have behavioural challenges. From time to time, someone might compliment me on my exercise of great patience. What they are unaware of, however, are the battles of frustration and sometimes anger that I am fighting within. I have to constantly silently remind myself, “Don’t explode. Stay calm. Remember their challenges”. Despite what others think, I have much room to improve in the arena of patience.
The secular world is very much target driven. In business and education for example, a measurable accomplishment is expected in a definitive and published frame of time. Success and failure is very much based on whether these targets are met. When those targets are not met, it is identified as a failure and may result in dismissal or drop out. The result for many is a kind of destruction.
Our Heavenly Father’s approach is different. Though we constantly pick the “apple” from the tree, when we define good and evil according to our own desires, he is patient and merciful to us. The penalty of sin is death but, instead of leaving us all to die, He clutched unto us, and after a lengthy brooding time, He sent His son to die for us so that we may live. Instead of the instant destruction of humanity, God promised the restoration of our dangerous, dark and unfriendly world to a safe one: filled with the light of His presence, full of beauty and wonder.
The target time for the restoration is not published. But, why oh why is it taking so long? The answer is that restoration would mean the destruction of evil. Without Christ, we would be amongst that destruction. God in his patient love gives humanity time so that He can reveal himself to all races and peoples in love. Nevertheless, the time is running out. On an individual level he exercises incomparable patience with each of us. In the face of our “behavioural challenges” He works with us, without frustration, giving us daily opportunities to be refreshed and restored to a nature that He had always intended for us – which is everlasting royalty as children of the supreme and perfect God.
Beloved, if you have not yet yielded to the kindness of God expressed to you in His patience, do so now. Turn from the path that leads to destruction and enter into the way of life through Jesus, who is the Christ. Come home: https://www.earthbasic.org/way-home.html.
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 who believes that as we seek the truth of God's Word, and humble ourselves to live in agreement with it, that we will experience the transformation which allows us to enter wholistic wellness: spirit, soul and body. She is the Founder and President of EarthBasic and leads its Be-Held Community: a group of women seeking, living and being transformed by the truth of God’s Word together.