When Will This End?

“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith [produces] patience.”

James 1:3

Trials in life can be a funny thing. They don’t typically last as long as we perceive them to last, but they are not as short as we would want them to be. Trials have specific purposes in our lives, and one of them is patience. We live in a society where patience is not a common virtue, and we want everything yesterday. We are unwilling to wait for things, and we have little patience when things don’t happen when we expect them to. God is not bound by time and He allows trials to instill patience in us.

I ran logistics at a retail store and my team’s job was to unload the truck and stock the store within a certain period of time. Every second counted and I was constantly looking for ways to shave time off the process. One day, I was walking the store checking on the team as they stocked when I spotted a bottle of hot sauce on the ground in the middle of an aisle. I thought it was odd but I spotted another one ten feet away from the first one. As I walked the store, I realized there were several more of those same bottles of Pace Picante hot sauce. I was clueless until my boss told me over the walkie to “pick up the ‘Pace'”. I did not take to this too kindly, but I got the picture. I was not liking my job, and I knew I had to make a change.

It seemed like every day I was looking for another job as I was frustrated with my boss. The pressures mounted and I would find myself dissatisfied with my life and extremely unhappy all the time. I didn’t understand why I had to endure this trial, but I needed a job, and this was the job God had provided for me. I despised the early mornings, as it seemed ungodly to be up at 2:45am, and it seemed like my boss hated me and my existence. I pleaded with God to get me a new job but He chose to keep me where I was at. I was at my wits’ end and desperate for a change. I wanted God to improve my situation immediately, but this was not His plan for my life at this time.

After several years, I started to realize that God was not going to change my job. Instead, He was trying to change me through my job. He was bringing this trial in my life to produce patience in me, and He was teaching me on His schedule, not on mine. God used Freedom That Lasts and the Bible curriculum in that program to change my thinking and life. I began to see the people I worked with as souls whom God loved and whom I needed to love as well. I started to love my employees as God changed me instead of my situation. My attitude became different, and I no longer hated my job or my boss. I started to enjoy working with my team, and I no longer was so anxious to leave. I got on board with God’s plan, and I was fully vested in His timing. Looking back, I see His timing was perfect and I am grateful for the six plus years in my retail job. Those years at times went very slowly, but I would not change them for anything.

What trial are you going through today? Are you asking God to change your circumstances instead of changing you? Are you allowing God to produce patience in your life? Are you asking God to help you see the bigger picture, or are you simply wallowing in the misery of the trial? May we allow the trying of our faith to produce patience in us, and may we not put our limited-view time table on God’s perfect plan. There is peace when we develop godly patience, and God’s plan is always worth waiting for. Psalms 27:14 states, “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.“

Stay in the Fight!

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