When I Lose My Patience with God

When I Lose My Patience with God

December 4, 2014

“[F]or it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phillippians 2:13 (NIV)

ON YOUR MARK … GET SET … GO!

Hearing those words, I was always first off the starting block. Actually they were more like pieces of wood taped to the asphalt, but it was junior high; we made do.

It didn’t matter to me because I was the fastest kid in our seventh-grade class. I could out-run the girls and the boys any day of the week … except when it came to the 600-meter run.

Every year we had to go through something called the Presidential Physical Fitness Test. It consisted of a series of strength and endurance tests to determine each student’s level of physical fitness. Those who finished the assessment in a certain percentile earned the coveted Presidential Physical Fitness Award.

I wanted that award in the worst kind of way. I knew I could ace the other tests, but year after year one eluded me. The 600-meter run. It seems like such a short distance now, but for this lanky seventh-grader, it was a marathon.

Before we started, the coach gave us instructions to set our pace to finish the race. I thought, Yeah, I know how to pace myself. Fast! I’ll be around that track and done before the other kids hear the O in GO! Or, so I thought.

I figured I didn’t need to heed the advice of our PE coach. What did he know? I’d set my own pace. And I did.

After running my heart out for about 100 meters, my legs suddenly felt like rubber and my lungs like lead. I couldn’t go a second longer. Bent over and gasping for air, I watched out of the corner of my eye as each classmate plodded past me to victory.

Looking back, ignoring guidance and running as fast I could wasn’t the best approach. As an adult, I can still run too fast and get ahead of God’s plans. Instead of prayerfully asking God where He wants me, I speed ahead with my own agenda. And when I do, I’m like a fast-burning candle with a short wick. I burn out fast.

Our key verse, Philippians 2:13, tells us God has a plan and purpose for us, and He’ll get us where He needs us to go. In His timing. We need not try to beat Him to the finish.

I’ve heard that patience is slowing down to the speed of someone else. I’ve also learned I need to have a little more patience with God and slow down to His pace — the pace He has set for me.

I have to admit I was disappointed every year that I didn’t receive the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. But today, I’d rather finish my race at God’s pace and have the reward of hearing Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Dear Heavenly Father, I have spent my life racing ahead, and I’m exhausted. My desire is to be in step with You. Help me slow down to Your pace, so I don’t run past the place and purpose You have set for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)

Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (NIV)

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Longing to write words that are memorable and life-changing? Struggling to build a platform, but realize it takes more writing than you thought? Today’s devotion author, Christy Mobley, is a member of COMPEL, a resource for those who want to write words that move people. Click here to learn more or become a member of COMPEL today.

If you or a child close to you ever wrestle with worry about God’s timing, you might appreciate Lysa TerKeurst’s latest release, a whimsically illustrated children’s book, It Will Be Okay: Trusting God Through Fear and Change.

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What may cause you to rush ahead of God’s timing, and what steps can you take to get back in pace with Him?

Pray and ask God to reveal to you where He is working in your life and the lives of your family and friends. Jot down what you learn. Then ask God to show you where you can join Him.

© 2014 by Christy Mobley. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. I ♥ my wonderful husband, Ron Smith. He and I never thought we’d see the day when we finally got to live here at Eden Supportive Living Champaign. Unfortunately, we were getting frustrated the longer it took, as we’d already been praying constantly to God about it. For what seemed like a long time waiting, we didn’t see an answer to our prayers whatsoever. Unfortunately, this caused us to forget about the idea until the middle part of August. We are now here, have been for over 3 months already. We are so incredibly happy here. The one thing that helped us get back on track was remembering to constantly have time with God in prayer, asking for what we wanted- even thanking Him for accomplishing it, even when we hadn’t seen it happen yet.
    “[F]or it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Phillippians 2:13 (NIV)
    Wow! What an awesome thing to always remember at all times! God is always working in us to fulfill a specific purpose that He has for each and everyone of us, no matter who we are.
    “Dear Heavenly Father, I have spent my life racing ahead, and I’m exhausted. My desire is to be in step with You. Help me slow down to Your pace, so I don’t run past the place and purpose You have set for me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Christy Mobley
    Wow! What a very powerful prayer! Nothing should stop us from achieving whatever it is that God has planned for our lives. Unfortunately, having our very own agenda can make this difficult. We should stop what we’re doing and ask God to help us focus on what He may have in store for us.
    Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (NIV)
    Wow! Amen! Boy, is this verse ever powerful! We are God’s handywork. He has created each and everyone of us with a spefic purpose. Our purpose is specifically designed to serve His kingdom.
    Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” (NIV)
    Wow! How so incredibly true tonight! No matter how difficult waiting on God may seem, we should always remember that he’s always got a reason why our prayers may not be answered as quickly as we would really like.
    Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (NIV) –
    Exactly! We’re a work in progress. We are undone. God is always working in and through each one of us. He won’t stop working on us until the very day that He calls us home to be with Him in eternity.

  2. We must learn to surrender to God so as to avoid a lot of agony because fighting God only makes the wilderness experience longer and more painful.
    We must adhere to the instructions of God and learn to respond to difficult situations as Jesus would. For it is written that” whoever disregards discipline shall inherit shame and disappointments”.

    Patience is a virtue that always wins in the end and God has called on us to be people of patience and as such patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit.

    The purpose and the plan of God for our life can never be achieved if we are impatient and are always running ahead of God because the Bible says the wisdom of any person is in his patience(ref proverbs 19:11).

    Impatience and anger are intertwined and has always be an effective missile system for Satan in bringing down characters in the Bible e.g Adam, Eve, Cain, Moses, etc but Joseph escaped!

    Wherever the mind goes the body will follow. Therefore,keep your mind in the Word of God so that we can learn active obedience through our patience.( cf Hebrews 5:8)

  3. Oh Christy, how much I strive and work and race to that finish line, only to realize I am deadbeat tired from my own efforts. Thank you for sharing your heart and history with me. I am blessed by your words.

  4. Great reminder! I’ve noticed that even in our Christian service we often get ahead of God. When recently studying the book of John I noticed that even Jesus Himself waited for God’s timing. If He waited I guess we should too. 🙂
    Following is a link to a blogpost about Jesus’ example of waiting on God. Hope it is encouraging.
    http://versesfrommama.blogspot.com/2014/07/timing-is-everything.html

  5. Karen Case says:

    I have come to depend on this Ministries’ daily emails . . . Spirit filled and God Centered . . . thank you so much!

  6. Kathy W ,Mo says:

    Good reminder to wait on the Lord. As it is all in timing. He know where we are at and what we need. I put things in the Lords hand but help me not to take them out. And to wait on him all in his perfect timing .Wish you all a Merry Christmas.,Jesus is the reason for the season. Gods Blessings.

  7. Clarice Williams says:

    Appreciated the devotion today. It was a good reminder of what I need to do.

  8. Judy Bartlett says:

    My husband left me 7 years ago. In 3 months time not only did I lose my husband, but both of my adorable parents passed. My heart and soul shattered. How was I going to survive losing 3 of the most beloved people in my life and an inconceivable emptiness. Yet I had loved my sovereign God for years and knew He had already given me the ability to not just survive, but thrive, in my new life. Psalm 27:14 has become one of my favorite life verses. I learned that in between the moments when God seemed so far away when I needed Him the most, I had His promise that His grace filled the gaps. I praise Him constantly for teaching me godly patience.

  9. Christy, I definitely relate to this. I am not the most patient person. 😉 I like seeing results. Fast, immediate ones. But the Christian walk is not usually that way. I’m so grateful for God’s patience with me, and his willingness to bring me back to Him even when I race ahead. Thanks for sharing this. Such a truth filled post.

  10. I needed that insight today! Sometimes God just says to sit down and rest, to bake some cookies and watch the snow fall. His guidance comes with gentleness and peace. The rest is my own desire to please other people, or the enemy who’s voice is insistent and driving and is always trying to wear out the saints!

    Thank you for your daily reminders of God’s loving-kindness and faithfulness!

  11. ….thank u Christy…and Judy your faith in God’s Word and His presence in you bringing you through your trying time is just Wow!!!!…when I think it’s so rough look at what you had to go through…shine on press on Judy Bartlett…thank u

  12. Jimmy Bozard says:

    Great thoughts Christy. Our daughter Jennifer found this first and sent it to Cathy and me. Keep writing. You have a gift!

  13. Here’s an early Christmas gift for EVERYONE!
    A FREE Song!
    KEEP CHRIST IN CHRISTMAS.
    http://keepchristinchristmas.info/keep_christ_in_christmas

  14. Hey Christy! This reminds me of when I trained for a 1/2 marathon last year. At first I was so concerned with keeping a good time I could barely finish the miles I set out to run that day. I realized when I slowed down I could accomplish much more & it got me thinking about life assignments, too. So true how exhausting it is to run ahead of God. “We need not try to beat Him to the finish.” Great words!

    • Thanks for sharing Katy. Slowing down can be a hard lesson to learn especially in life. Running ahead of God never works, plus He has a much better plan for us than we could ever map out for ourselves!
      Congratulations on your 1/2 marathon!

  15. Eliset Ramirez says:

    I really like this it encouraged me alot bevause its so easy to get ahead of God when we want fast results or fast healings, after losing my baby and being a single mom of this baby, God has shown me to depend on him with all of me but soemtimes i can get fustrated because i want to be healed and be able to be what God called me to be but its not in my timing but Gods timing, on healing and doing his will, is like being still and know that he is God. This devotion reminded me again that God is in control and to trust his timing in everything Thank you .

  16. Thank You Christy ! I really needed to read this. I am Certainly Trusting in God’s timing. I have 2 Prodigal Children, 14 yr old twins and I tried to “fix” things, but now I trust that by living with father, God will and is Really working on them. I am learning more and more , with Deep Prayer , that God’s timing is the ONLY timing !!!

    • Oh Tara, you are so right. Prayer + trust + faith = peace. Every time I try to fix things by myself, I step on my own feet. God’s timing is always perfect.
      Thank you for sharing.

  17. Wow! God’s perfect timing never ceases to amaze me. I have really been running and striving to accomplish what God has called me to do. I kept feeling like I was supposed to slow down and trust God with the timing of all of it but was just so excited and wanted to “accomplish it”. Wow, talk about conviction. I was trying to accomplish it on my own even though I knew it was God’s plan and not mine anyway. Thank you so much for writing exactly what I needed to hear today.

  18. Amy Carroll says:

    Great devotion, friend. I’m so stinkin’ proud of you!! Big Christmas hugs…

  19. “….the pace He has set for me…” Precise words to describe the trust we should have in our Father. We as children want to run to the ‘prize we see before us’; however, our Father, who loves us so much, will not let go of our hand because He knows without his guidance and steady hand on our life we will stumble and fall. A fall that could ‘break’ us. A fall that could hinder or stop our right place and purpose. So like a loving Father, no matter how much my hand squirms to try and get free….he continues “the pace He has set for me.” Thank you for making a difference with your words Ms. Mobley. May God continue to use you mightily.

  20. “Be still and know that I am God.” This is so contrary to our culture which stresses “Hurry up and do more”. Our to-do lists are overwhelming but The Great I Am says that to know Him we should be still. Not rush ahead or hurry up and hurry up but be still. Being still in our bodies can be a challenge but clearing our minds to be still can be so hard. So many thoughts pop up that get in the way of being still. My prayer for us all in this Christmas season is to give ourselves the gift of being still that we may truly know God and have a deeper appreciation of the gift of Jesus-a Gift for now through eternity.

  21. I could not open this devotion yesterday, so read yesterday and today’s devotional. So glad I did. I’ve been making myself slow down in life. It’s easier and easier everyday. I tell myself, you are not competition with anyone so no need to rush. I don’t even look at other people’s social media accounts so I’m not tempted to “Keep Up.” These days I’m running at His pace not the world’s. Bless you Christy.

  22. Michelle Lonoaea says:

    This is just confirmation for me! I feel God has been telling me I need to slow down and stop trying to “fix” everything. Thank you for sharing your heart!

  23. Thanks so much for such a timely message that I needed to hear. Its not always easy to remember that God really does have a plan for us, but when we do, we take the pressure off of ourselves as we cast our cares on Him. Thank you for reminding me to slow my pace.

  24. I have a question…Does Lisa TerKeurst have a sister in law, named Ann? If so, we went to high school together. I’d love to get in touch with Ann. Would you lease pass on my contact info to her? Thank you so much!

  25. Oh! how I needed this devotion today!!! The last 10 years of my life have been a testing roller coaster of my faith. In 2005, I was diagnosed with MS. My testimony in different churches is how two years later God miraculously HEALED my body and took the MS out of me, rose me from the wheelchair and I now am walking as my deep faith in God allows me to. In 2013 I had to have urgent Open Heart surgery. Triple bypass. 1artery-100% closed, 2artery’s at 75% closed with 2 anurisms. I almost did not make it. But God has AGAIN allowed me to live. Faith in Gods timing is so important. I am constantly singing the song “In His time, He makes all things beautiful in His time”.
    And now I am going through yet ANOTHER hurt in my life and I thank God that I know He is holding my hand showing me the way.My faith WILL bring me through in His time.

  26. Struggling with disappointment, impatience, and down right confused. I asked God to lead me to scripture to help me understand. Now I remember my sweat sweat grandma’s words (please apply a deep Ga accent!) baby God always answers your prayer, he has three answers Yes. No. Wait, and baby he says wait a lot! That advice came with a kiss and giggleing hug of reassurance. So I see his answer in your message today daddy said to wait, and I feel like a child ready to go. Calmly I am settling down to wait, rest assured like that child I feel the urge to say “now?!” 🙂

  27. Robert Gareau says:

    please pray for me, im single and have been praying for god to bring me a wife for 9 years and im 35 and still am single, everytime i like a woman, they always seem to have a boyfriend, and i feel discouraged,feel like god is not showing me favor and feel like im losing patience with god,i have not had a girlfriend since i was 11 years old and i am tired of being alone and lonely and i feel low self esteem

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