A bamboo farmer has to wait for 5 years to see his plants break through the ground. During those five years, the farmer waters and fertilizes the soil every day, patiently awaiting for the bamboo to sprout out of the ground. Every. Single. Day.
What must it be like to be that farmer, knowing that the fruit of all of your work will not show until over 1,800 days have passed? You would have to really BELIEVE that the time and energy that you invested into the growing process would be worth it.
After those 5 years, when the bamboo surfaces, it only takes 5 weeks for the bamboo to grow 90 FEET TALL.
The question is, did it grow 90 feet tall in 5 weeks, or in 5 years?
God is Patient with His People
I don't think there are many of us who plan on growing bamboo in the near future, but we all have areas where we lack patience. Maybe you lack patience with a family member of yours (and you probably think you have good reason) and wish you could just say, "forget it." Maybe you are tired of waiting for the pay-raise that you were told you would receive at work. Maybe you feel like you cannot bare the pain of loss and believe that getting through the valley of death requires an amount of patience that you do not have. Take heart.
Patience is a fruit of the Spirit. That means obtaining divine patience comes by abiding with the Spirit of God who is dwelling in you, the Spirit that is closer to you than the skin on your bones. The Holy Spirit comforts you and give you peace and patience that is impossible to have through trial apart from God's presence. Hear these words today:
"Do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:8-9.
When Christ was bound to time as a human, knowing he was going to die and still having to wait for that day, He did not lash out at the disciples when they would ask stupid questions (which they did often). He was patient with them. He continued to teach them. He does the same for us every day.
God is always teaching, loving, guiding, and shaping us into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Pain may very well be a part of that process, but God is not unfamiliar with pain, the gospel shows that He knows it to a degree that we will never know. Who God is helping us become in the process of waiting is often times more important than what we are actually waiting for. He knows what we need, and he is preparing us to receive it when He says it is time.
Whatever it is that you are waiting on, know that your God is good in the midst of the unknown. Trust in His timing. It is perfect.
"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." - Galatians 6:9
"Be wise in the way you act toward others; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." - Colossians 4:5-6
Recognize someone or something you know you have struggled to be patient with and ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you, giving you the patience you need to walk in the light of Christ today.
"God, teach us what it means to have faith in silence. When we face trials that are beyond our understanding, help us to find peace. Help me be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer. You set all things in accordance to your time. Remind us to wait patiently, and find peace in your plan. Amen."