September 3, 2011

In Regards To Myself

(I am listening to Underoath right now, which inspired the title of this post)

Learning things the hard way . . . or (re)learning that life is a process - a life-long process.

I have found myself asking God to give me patience, the capacity to trust Him with my life, contentment, etc. And you know what? I've discovered that I sometimes (more often than I'd like to admit) expect these prayers to be answered by a revelation, or a single moment in which, I'll wake up transformed from the girl I am now into the most patient, trusting, peaceful person ever.

Then I get frustrated and impatient because I'm not changing fast enough, or God isn't magically transforming me overnight. Then I realize this, and have to laugh at myself.

I'm glad He doesn't answer prayers or behave in a way that I always expect Him to . . . because He is so much bigger than my perceptions of Him. I still have so much to learn about His character and His ways.

Paul, in Philippians, writes:

I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
-Phil 4:11-13

Notice that he says he's learned to be content . . . not that he was born with this ability or magically became that way overnight. Having learned something is a process . . .

I was listening to one of JD's sermons on this passage last week and it was really encouraging just to be reminded that God uses our struggles and our failures to teach us, refine us, to build character and to bring us closer to Him.

I am finding that the frustrations and struggles that I'm walking through are the answer to my prayers for patience and for the ability to trust God. I can't become patient overnight (that would be ironic) . . . I have to process it over time and through a trial. How else can I learn these things if I don't have to work through them?

Honestly, the times in my life where I've had to work through a process and really wrestle with something are the times where I've grown and learned the most. And those are the times where God has reminded me of His immense patience and faithfulness . . . thank goodness He's more patient with me than I am with myself.

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