Thursday, November 2, 2023

Growing in Seasons of Waiting


By: Donna Bucher

Recently, as I reviewed some Bible verses, I had memorized, I stopped for the first time to consider Hebrews 12:1the latter part of the verse, " let us run with patience the race that is set before us," Of course I have read that verse many times over the years, but it stopped me dead in my tracks that evening.


How does one RUN with patience?


When I think of "running", I think of hurry, of going all out to get somewhere quickly. When I think of "patience", I often think of a slow WAIT. The word patience implies a wait, while the word run implies movement and getting somewhere fast.

Exercising Patience


Most of us view patience as a "waiting room" attribute. Patience comes into play when we wait for a desired outcome, medical test results, news from a loved one, or results from a job interview.


We know the answer will come, but we must "be patient". We can also exercise patience while recovering from an illness, surgery, financial setback, or grief.


All these instances lead to a passive form of patience. Convalescence often occurs resting, and it is certainly understandable to endure grief lying down or in private repose.


As any child will tell you, having patience while waiting is not only devoid of fun, but downright impossible.

Of course, we also exercise patience with difficult people, unfair treatment or enduring a particular event without complaint. But these all imply a passive patience response.


Running with Patience

There is, however, another form of patience, and I believe that is what we encounter in Hebrews 12:1This type of patience is much harder to achieve because this type of patience is not passive, it "runs".


Certainly, when we bear with a difficult situation without complaint, sit quietly with troublesome or disappointing news and process grief while resting, we show forth patience with others, ourselves, and God.


But running with patience demonstrates a greater level of strength and trust in God. The ability to get up the next day after hard news and do your job or care for your family; moving through your daily tasks with a sorrowful spirit shows forth Christ's work in us. 

Hebrews 12:2 points us directly at His example at running [His] race with patience: "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."


How to Run with Patience

Admittedly, I prefer a passive patience response; yet I believe God intended to get my attention with this verse. Normally very [passively] patient, recently encountering some trials both personally and with my writing, revealed a patience bordering on self-pity.

Outwardly I displayed patience, while inwardly I felt sorry for myself. All leading to a stagnant position before God.

At times, we are to be still, wait and be patient, while at other times, we are to "run with patience". While it is easier to deal with waiting, disappointments, and hard places in the privacy of our homes, God calls us to hold that sorrow not in places of rest and stillness, but in active service.

What does running with patience look like?

  1. Serving God by serving others in your home, workplace, when out on errands, at school or church.
  2. Bringing JOY to others through acts of kindness and compassion.
  3. Be the answer to someone else's prayer.

I love this quote by Ann Voskamp:

"If you're waiting on God's answer, do what Waiters do: SERVE"

What do you do when you're waiting for an answer? 

Trusting God is displayed in patience that waits for the ultimate goal while doing the everyday mundane. It's carrying your burden but easing the burden of others; it's bearing sorrow, grief, or disappointment while bringing JOY to others.

Running with patience is one of the hardest things you will do, but it is the means by which God refines your patience and blesses others for His glory.


Which form of waiting do you engage in most often?

What changes can you make today to grow in your season of waiting?

Find more encouragement and FREE Resources at Serenity in Suffering!


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