GIVE ME PATIENCE . . . RIGHT NOW (DEUTERONOMY 8:5)
On a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your ability to be patient?
Being born north of the Mason-Dixon Line made me a Yankee by birth. Growing up in Chicago indelibly marked me as a northerner . . . a mid-westerner, through and through. But in 1979 we moved to Texas . . . then in 1984, to Tennessee . . . and finally to Florida in the year 2000. And frankly, we’ve grown accustomed to the South. Technically, Texas isn’t an American state in “the South.” Texans will tell you that Texas isn’t in the south, the north, the east or the west. Texas is a sovereign nation. And Florida? Hard to tell exactly what it is.
In any case, one of the things we discovered while living in the South is the two-lane roads that wind through counties everywhere. These routes were trails built by early settlers and used as a party game like “Twister” and “Charades.” Guests would be dispatched to a certain destination, being given an allotted time to return to the party. All the small, roadside graveyards ought to give you a clue as to what happened to some of these guests. I’m kidding, of course. But you’ve never been lost like you’ll get lost on these narrow roads.
One of the features of these winding roads is the double yellow lines that grace every one. This means that if you’re in a hurry, you’d better hope you don’t get behind someone who doesn’t really care about your hasty trip.
I have literally spent miles traveling closer to the car or truck in front of me than his “Skoal: Breakfast of Champions” bumper sticker. This has been a great “conversation starter” between my wife and me many times. As in “many times.”
My score is a two or three on the above patience quiz. How about you?
If you haven’t already, read Deuteronomy 8—the whole chapter. Please take special note of today’s key verse. Moses was saying to the Jews, all that you have been through—including 40 years of waiting in the wilderness—is exactly the discipline your loving Heavenly Father knew you needed. Follow Him. Do not be anxious. Be patient. If you try to pass Him on a double-yellow line, you will be destroyed. Hit head on.
Although you may be able to relate to my impatient desperation on these little roads in Texas and other Southern places, there’s actually a sobering truth here: Follow your Heavenly Father’s course. He may be moving as fast as you can handle, or He may be crawling at a snail’s pace. In either case, He knows exactly what He’s doing.
Have conversations with your children about the special kind of discipline and patience the Lord is teaching you. Because they’re watching you, they’ll catch on very quickly.
Taken from NIV Dad’s Devotional Bible©2017 HarperCollins Christian Publishing