No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8 NLT
Loneliness… The Problem
It is 5am, I woke up at 4:45 today. How do I process the beginning of a year where nothing has changed for me personally and the loneliness seems unbearable? My personal goals of making friends, getting rooted in a community, finding my place here did not happen as I planned for it in this last year. I am alone every day. I try to process it in my mind. Why would God want me to be so utterly lonely? Then I start looking around at others and what they have. Epic mistake, that just adds a level of grief to my loneliness which is already to the point of not bearable. My life season looks nothing like what I had planned for it to look and all I can see ahead is loneliness.
Patient Endurance… The Solution
Patient Endurance. This is what I am learning this year. I guess I have the perfect set up to grow through this year and learn it. So, here I am Lord Jesus, I open my heart wide to Your Holy Spirit, Lord God, I am ready for You to do this work of patient endurance in me. I can only imagine what this God adventure will be all about with Your creative nature and my human condition needing to be stretched in a way that will change things up in my spirit. I need to make a new spiritual habit, so I am guessing that this is going to take some work on my part. I am willing to collaborate with You, Holy Spirit. Here we go!
What I Know
Lord God, I love You, but I don’t understand the ways You choose to use here on this earth. As I am thinking this I realize that this is the stank of conditional love, a byproduct of my human condition that likes to respond to things favorably, only when the stipulations of my worldly viewpoint are being perfectly met. Does this ever seen to happen. NO! It seems like nothing lately is working out the way I planned it. Therefore, I choose to think about what I do know. I know I have a future and a hope. I know You are the solution to this loneliness that seems to envelop my soul. I know that I don’t see a way out of this deep hole I find myself starting this New Year in. Yet I do know that Your love for me is perfect and as I cling to it, experience it, I will have less trepidation about the things I don’t understand that You are purposefully working out in me. I know these things and now I need to act like I do. This may be what patient endurance begins to look like for me, beginning to act out of what I know.
My son, pay attention to my words. Open your ears to what I say. Do not lose sight of these things. Keep them deep within your heart because they are life to those who find them and they heal the whole body. Guard your heart more than anything else, because the source of your life flows from it. Proverbs 4:20-23 GWT
The Journey Begins
Patient Endurance. Okay. Here we go. Holy Spirit, I heard you speak the word, comparison. This is where I need to begin. Comparison is the trap that I ended the year in. I found my way out of it by stepping up in gratitude, because gratitude seems to lift higher the truth of what You have done for me, taking the focus off my unmet expectations. So, it is here I begin this journey of patient endurance with a sacrifice of praise. I don’t feel like being thankful, but I choose it. I begin speaking the things I need to be grateful for, things You have done for me and as I speak them, my heart begins to rally in thankfulness. This is a good start to this journey.
Change It Up
Unmet needs biased by a worldly viewpoint, this seems to be the bait for comparison. So, if I don’t want to follow the bunny trail of comparison that leads to the dead-end trap of comparison, something in my soul needs to change up and that something is gratefulness. The way to get to gratefulness is cluttered by my unmet personal expectations. My viewpoint needs to shift to the things God has done, instead of being focused on what He has not yet done. I need to exchange my worldly viewpoint for a kingdom perspective because a kingdom perspective takes in what is seen and what is not seen. This exchange needs to take place, but first I need to collect the expectations strewn all over my soul and place them at the foot of the cross of Jesus Christ.
A Standard Of Right
I need to start this God Journey to patient endurance, right here, right now with gratitude. Having a grateful heart lifts a standard of righteousness in my soul, positioned on a platform of unshakeable truth. The truth that my soul needs to grasp is right in front of my eyes. Gratitude begins with and IS what God has done already. God purposefully working in my life is a gratitude where comparison dead ends. Why? Gratitude is based on truth, a standard of right which stands forever and comparison is based on assumption, a lie which does not last the tests of these tumultuous times.
Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent. Interlude Offer sacrifices in the right spirit, and trust the Lord. Many people say, “Who will show us better times?” Let your face smile on us, Lord. You have given me greater joy than those who have abundant harvests of grain and new wine. In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, will keep me safe. NLT Psalm 4:3-8
Consequences Of Comparison
Comparison leads to a soul enveloped with anger. How true this is. Simply-Significantly, it is better to stay quiet than to speak out of turn to God. Anger stirred by comparison becomes an abusive tongue that says things that are not true and lashes out at God and others. Comparison ends up being a biased judgement, an opinion which is never wholly-holy true. We can move off course with God when we are comparing our lives with another, wanting what they have, concluding what we have is not good enough. We purposefully have the life God has chosen for us and it is right, it is good. The consequences of chasing after our comparison is losing our way as we veer out of holy alignment with God.
Flip It To The Right Side
It is better to quietly submit my emotions to God, remaining silent, not impulsively giving a voice to my emotions is the best choice, especially when I have stepped out on the unholy ground of comparison. Comparison stirs up discontentment in our soul and rises our emotions to a level of disrespect that usually travels the path of dishonoring God, as our emotions are formed into negative attitudes that shape the course of our words. Taking our feelings and offering them to God, asking Him to flip them to the right side, to purify them with what is true and transform them to what is good, as the discernment of His purpose runs its course through us.
Stepping Into Gratitude
I need to humbly place my expectations in God’s hands, offer them up to Him by laying down my comparison at His feet in utter trust of His plan for my life. Then I need to step out of comparison into gratitude for everything God has already done and is doing in me. When I step out of comparison into gratitude, my soul is saturated with the peace of God. God’s peace, which is the greater gift than anything else that I was pursuing, is the direct offspring of gratitude. Having a thankful heart plays a huge role in the developing of patient endurance. When I step into gratitude, I am flowing purposefully into the enlarged path of increased faith, truth and belief which will help me grow through to patient endurance.
Pursuing An Attitude Of Gratitude
Jesus, thank you for Your Word, it deeply cuts through all the mess of my humanity with a message of hope for my soul. I am grateful for the power of it, how it can transform my soul attitudes the second I take it in my heart. There is so much to be grateful for. I will choose to make thankfulness my first gaze and my last thought of each day. I hope to be thankful in my heart from every moment into every attitude of my soul, from every minute to every thought of my mind, from every second to every action of my heart. I will guard my heart in gratefulness and out of my spirit will spring forth a joyful thanksgiving that paves the way to patient endurance.
I hope you enjoyed this nourishing meal of Patient Endurance posted at the Author Table of The Bridegroom’s Café. This meal has a very personal flavor, it gives you an insight into the life of the Author, KimberlyMac, me and all I am growing through. I hope you share it on all your Social Media accounts and bless someone else with the wisdom of Patient Endurance. God bless you. Much! PS. I highly suggest you check out my book: The Bridegroom’s Voice, it will bless your life in ways no other book has.