Be Patient

I found a rock down by the water a while back and I picked it up to add to my collection of rocks (including agates of course).  It's like rocks I've seen before with holes in it from water erosion.  It amazes me how water can create such perfectly round holes in a rock.  The constant flow of water eventually wears it down to the point where it can even break through to the other side.  That's how this rock was.  There was one hole that had broken all the way through, but then on the other side there were three more holes that were of different depths but had not yet broken through.
     Front of the rock                    Back of the rock     

When I was going through a time in my life when I was feeling frustrated with my own weaknesses, I remember I had a moment of break through.  I can't remember exactly what I was struggling with but it seems like I was finally able to let go of some bitterness and unforgiveness.  I was relieved and thought finally I can move on with my life and now I can become the person Jesus is calling me to be.  It seems I had always been searching for this perfection in my self and figured eventually, if I was truly trusting God, I would get over my imperfections and my life would really begin.

Then I recalled this rock I had just picked up.  Yes, on the front the water had broken through, but when the rock was turned over, there were holes still forming and working toward their own breakthrough.  In other words, God isn't finished with me yet.  I still have trials to come and will have them for the rest of my life.

When I realized that I'm never going to reach that moment of peace and perfection, I felt a little irritated.  What was the point of striving to do what's right, of forgiving, loving my enemy, turning the other cheek, if all it gets me is another hole?  But then I stood up a little straighter and thought at least now I know.  I know that this work, these trials, will be with me for the rest of my life and all I can do is face them head on.  This life is a process.  It is a series of break throughs.

I have since applied this concept to other parts of my life.  If I keep working and thinking and striving to be a better cook, eventually I have some break throughs and each lesson learned builds on the next.  If a child of mine is exhibiting irritating behavior, if I continue to work on correcting (or accepting) that behavior, there will eventually be some kind of break through.  I just have to keep in mind that I'll be dealing with something else later.  There is more coming and all I need to do is have patience.  Patience with myself, with my child, with whatever or whomever is confronting me at the moment.

In the end, these trials are shaping and carving my soul to conform to the One who is Perfection and Peace.

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