Saturday of the Fourth Week after Trinity

Daily Lectionary: Judges 15:1-16:3; Galatians 3:23-4:11

Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. (Psalm 27:14, from the Introit for Trinity 5)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. There is one thing that even the most accomplished Christian has a tough time giving to the Holy Spirit: time. We are an impatient lot. When we want something, we want it five minutes ago. But all we need is just a little patience.

Patience is a virtue. That's not just a cliché; it's actually in the Bible. See Galatians 5:22 and Colossians 3:12, among others. Patience is not only expected, but required. But if you've ever tried to tell a small child to be patient for something that they're excited to do, you know that telling someone to be patient usually has the opposite effect. It makes them more restless.

The older you get, the more you start to get an understanding of time. When you're young, it takes for-ev-er for math class to end and recess to begin, but it's just a few minutes. When you get older, you start to see that a few months is a pretty short time to wait. And after you've lived a couple of decades, a few years isn't really that long. God is eternal, and so His perspective of time is quite different from ours.

So how can you develop patience? Only by taking Psalm 27:14 backward. First, God must act. In time. In His time. He will strengthen your heart when you most need it (not when you think you need it). When He works to take the mess you've made of your life and turn it into good, then He gives courage. If all the trials up to now have not destroyed you (and even if you die, death cannot destroy you, because Christ has destroyed the power of death), then you can take on just about anything, because you know that God will act. And that courage is courage to wait.

But even while you wait, God gives you little reminders of His action. The Invocation returns you to your Baptism and reminds you that Jesus is with you always, to the end of the age. The Supper is to remember and proclaim His death, which ends in life. So be patient--God will act. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

This reflection is available as an mp3, click here to download and listen to it.