Hi, woman of patience and power! God bless you as you take time to develop the beauty of a flower and the strength of an oak.
It’s been said that it takes time for God to paint a rose. A lot of thought went into that statement. Perhaps a lot of pain as well.
We live in an age of immediate resolutions. We’ve been living in this high-speed period for quite a while now, but it is becoming accelerated. Time has become ever more instant.
In today’s age, we fly instead of drive, fax instead of mail, and e-mail rather
than phone. With computers, we instantly communicate around the world, buy and sell products, and retrieve vast amounts and various kinds of information—all with a swift click of the mouse.
We continue to live with a quick-fix mentality. There is a procedure, technology, machine, pill, or whatever that can fix something or someone in hours, minutes, or even seconds. The problem is, it doesn’t always work. Not that fast. And sometimes not at all. 1
Suffering is one thing that makes us realize there is not always a quick fix. Some people suffer for short periods of time and some for somewhat longer phases. Yet, for others, it seems as if bearing a cross is never-ending; it’s part of the journey.
Recovery from the loss of a loved one is something that, for some of us, takes a seemingly endless amount of time. The memories, while beautiful, stir up a sadness within us. The pain of a vacuum is always there. We wonder when it will go away.
The loss of health, whether physical or emotional, brings torrents of anguish. Will we ever recover? Will we be able to function as we would like? What does the future hold?
The loss of a job brings suffering for some. Where will I work next? Will I find suitable employment? Will I land that job that seems enticing? How will I meet my expenses? And the list goes on.
Suffering requires patience. We need to be patient with ourselves—to endure the pain, to wait, to cope, or to learn how to cope. The more tolerant we are of ourselves, the clearer our minds are, and the clearer our minds are, the better we are at separating feelings from facts. (Feelings and facts can become confused during times of suffering.)
It takes real intestinal fortitude to be patient. It’s hard to wait for the dissipation of grief, the healing of an injury, or the news that will tell us, “You have the job.” We find it difficult not only because of the pain, but because everything around us is moving at top speed. Everything and everyone—but us. We have come to a grinding halt. But as we are in this seemingly limbo state, something inside of us is happening. Something we don’t even realize. We are growing stronger. That’s because patience produces power—the power to manage our emotions, handle our illness, and deal with our loss.
Healing and courage go hand in hand. As we recover, we look at what we have endured and say, “Yes, I had the patience and the power to get through that ordeal. I was able to handle it.” In retrospect, we are inspired by how brave we were and are pleased with our bold spirit.
Like you, I will continue to have times when I feel weak and powerless. But also like you, I know I have inherent strength to face life’s challenges. Additionally, we know that God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Dear sister, lovely rose and mighty oak, may you have increased patience and power as you walk through the sunshine and the shadows of your beautiful life
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