Photo by Lurii Laimin
How is your patience doing? Some of us seem to have more than others but I am not sure that many of us are consistently excelling in this virtue in the current age. Everything about our culture nudges us to want answers, solutions, provisions, and more in short order. At the same time, it seems we are spending more time waiting and having patience tested than ever before.
We are the generation who are accustomed to “fast food” and microwaves to heat up whatever we have to eat at home. Nevertheless, “fast food” doesn’t seem to be as fast as it once was. No one can explain it except that many would say it deals with a shortage of enough workers that seems to add issues for every company, business, or service provider we know since the pandemic began in 2020. The shortages are most frustrating when we cannot find a medical person taking new patients when our favorite has retired and when we do have the good fortune to have a good physician our wait times can be longer.
In this day of instant communication from every and any source we can name, we want answers now but when they do come, they are often piecemeal. We have a battery of tests and some results come in while others do not, and we wait not just once but twice or more while frustration and anxiety build.
Photo by Nathan Finch
But the challenge of needing to wait for something we need or want isn’t new. It is told in story after story in the Bible (long before wi-fi, the internet, streaming services, and jets streaking across the sky). Barren women like Sarah, Rachel, and Hannah waited dealing with infertility. Daniel’s prayers were not answered at one point for 21 days despite his fervency. The children of Israel waited for a homeland for century upon century despite God’s promises.
You may be in a season of waiting and whether it has been long or short it not only tests our patience but also our trust in God and his timing and provision for us.
It brings to mind a passage of scripture in Isaiah:
“For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”Isaiah 28:10 (NIV)
What is God trying to get us to see in this verse by the prophet, Isaiah?
One possible answer is this: We tend to believe the Lord will give us A BIG ANSWER QUICKLY AND ALL AT ONE TIME. However, the pattern repeatedly described in the scriptures suggests we receive “line upon line, precept upon precept,” or in other words, many small answers over a period of time.
Those of us just moving into spring are very eager for summer and the unbeatable taste of tomatoes and other things picked fresh from the vine after months of winter.
Waiting once again for something we are eager to enjoy like students looking forward to the end of the school year and months of a summer vacation without studies to tie them down.
Photo by Cottonbro Studio
If you stop by here often or follow me regularly, you know that my life has been in a period of waiting following my accident two days after Christmas that I wrote about here (https://pamecrement.com/2023/01/16/who-were-they/).
The accident left me with a number of issues that needed healing. The oral surgery just two days after the fall meant wearing a splint on my upper front teeth and greatly adjusting my diet to accommodate the splint and ask God to do what only He could do to save my teeth. Appointments came and went with various dental and medical folks with no definite answers to tell me whether my teeth would be saved or not. God had done much at the time of the accident, but this was a “little by little” time for me, teaching me again I needed to trust in the Lord and the prayers of many.
Many of you whom I have never met have prayed for me and asked about progress and so today I want to share where “little by little” has brought me as of now.
The swelling, bruising, and inflammation in my hands and wrists from the fall have been resolved and the later development of vertigo from the misalignment of my jaw and head have largely improved while still receiving some treatment for that.
This week I spent two hours in a dental chair working on the big issues that oral surgery was trying to address. The result was an extensive hour of cleaning and a decision that the teeth appeared to be stable despite two teeth still being sensitive to pressure that are adjacent to the teeth shoved into the bone sockets and brought down by the oral surgeon. So, the splint was removed. That removal of the wire splint required grinding the bonding material that held it in place to loosen the wire and then more grinding to polish off the residue.
The dentist said that given where things were four months ago immediately after the accident that the stability of the teeth and where things are now is miraculous. How much thanks I give to God for the things only He could do despite good medical and dental skills and care!
But “little by little” does not have me with the final answer. Time will tell if the sensitive teeth will be fully healed, and the dentist wants me to keep an eye on that and whether or not they darken which would mean nerves in the teeth are dying. So, I wait and trust God to do only what He can do since man has done all he can. If nothing changes, I see the dentist in six months.
I would be dishonest if I didn’t say I wish it were all finished instead and that I am no longer tempted with concern about what may yet come, but like most earthlings there are things here for me to learn and once again I am in a season where God is the one who is the provider and source, the one that life has taught me is trustworthy (even when I don’t get the answer I wish in the time I hope). He is good and faithful.
Photo by Tanner Ecrement