Faith in Future Grace vs. Impatience
This chapter may be my favorite so far. If you’re reading it with me, didn’t you find that God brought to mind many of your prayers? Desires of your heart that only God knows exist? Me, too.
I’m taking a couple of pointers from this chapter. First, no more complaining. I excuse most of my complaining because I do it to (not at) Karl. He’s my sounding board. He’s my burden-bearer. I share with him nearly every thought that passes between these ears.
I also complain to myself a lot. What is the word for that? Dwelling on the negative? Pouting? Self-pity! I think that’s it. Then again, maybe it’s more like mourning. I find myself thinking that the things I’d hoped for should be realized by now. They’re not, so I feel a sense of loss more than one of hope or faith in future grace. As a result, I’ve grown cynical and pessimistic. The fact that I don’t see what I want to see ought to drive me to pray more, to exercise my faith. Rather than complain, I will pray.
Second, I will pray for strength to endure. I don’t want to give in just as the path gets rocky. Piper references several people who were patient in affliction and persecution. I want to be like those men and women. I want to live a life of exemplary faith. That kind of living will require that I meditate on God’s word, I let the Holy Spirit encourage me with His words, and I obey Him when He says, “Be patient,” and “Wait a little longer.”
I see immediate application for this in my parenting. I don’t always see the fruit I want to see and I am tempted to give up. It’s so discouraging sometimes to have to address the same issues over and over again. If I don’t mother my children, who will? God has given this responsibility to me, so there must be some extravagant grace for the task! I need to tap into it. I also remember how God has been so patient with me. With his help, I can persevere and be patient with my children, keep teaching those same life lessons over and over again. God hasn’t left me alone.
In one of my journals, 2 Corinthians 9:8 is written on almost every single page. I was a desperate woman when my babies were all babies at the same time. I was also a happier woman. Maybe one of the reasons I’m more frustrated these days than full of faith is because I’ve forgotten how desperate I am for grace to do what I have to do every day. I’ve put more faith in my schedule or in our curricula or in ____________. Hmm, I have several things to think through.
Well, I’ve rambled long enough. Did a particular area of application come to mind during your reading of this chapter?