Wednesday, February 03, 2010

I Will Wait.

The theme word for this week, the message that has been preached on repeat in my heart for days, the thing that has occupied my thoughts and my pen, is patience.

Patience. What a word.

Before this past month, it was just that - a word. A word I found here or there, a word that drifted across my eyes when I wanted a little girl to put her shoes on faster, a word I could sing in a song and get a warm fuzzy feeling.

Now when I think of patience, there's more of a wrestle-in-the-mud effect. I have hope that this wrestle will end like Jacob's did.

Saturday night, I read about Ronel, and my heart broken into a million pieces. On the floor. At the library. I couldn't get this picture that Randy tweeted from Haiti out of my mind. My thoughts raced - what if I really left school and just went to Haiti? What could I do? What could I DO? Something turned into my heart from "One day, I am doing to be a mom and adopt orphans and they won't be orphans anymore" to "anywhere children are alone, I belong." To steal a flow of logic from my friend, it's a good thing I don't have any money or else I might have gotten on a plane to India right then and there. I texted Christina:
What would you do if I got on a plane right now, went to India, found a house, and took in 50 kids?
She replied she'd come with me. That's my partner in crime right there, folks.

I went to sleep with tears dropping from my eyes and "Oh, Jesus..." from my lips. I got up the next morning and tried to share the heaviness of my heart with Chris & Jena. Jena tried to encourage me with answers: "see what degree you need to help them!" "Pray! You might hear a story in ten years of a little kid getting out of Haiti today and look back and remember that you were praying." Finally, she identified the 200 pound weight my heart had been trying to lift for the past few hours:
It's frustrating to be filled with passion and compassion about something and not be able to do anything about it.
You see, the next words out of my mouth after "Oh Jesus, save that little boy" had been "God, why am I here?" It was so hard to reconcile the fact that my arms that could hold so many of these little boys and girls were instead filled with works of Homer and textbooks on politics. That my feet could be dirty with the mud of Port-au-Prince but instead pounded the glistening pavement of my stellar university campus. That I could burn for hearts without homes while I slept in a room that could fit at least two cribs in it, maybe three.

All that to say, Jena also identified a key aspect that I had been blind to:
You're angry with God. You're angry that there's injustice in the world and you can't do anything about it right now.
How scary. She was right. The thing is, being mad at God scares me, but it doesn't scare Him. He's willing to work with me, guide my heart, speak to me, and forgive me when I come repentant. This is where patience comes in (perhaps you were wondering!).

I walked through the evening air crying on Monday, pouring out to Christina how my heart felt tied in knots and I just didn't understand, and how could I be angry with God? She spoke some oil of personal experience and solid truth that brought peace instantly:
Annie, I don't like it. But Jesus did it.
He did! He went to school to study the Scriptures that he wrote. The one who crafted the world built chairs and tables until he was 30. THIRTY! He was a boy. He was God, and lived with people who had no idea. (Christina, I hope I'm not stealing a blog post here! :)

Then, to follow it up:
A good friend told me a little while ago: 'Jesus requests patience of me, not as an act of obedience, but as an act of love.'
That friend was me. The Lord began speaking to me as I prepared to come back to Tacoma that love is patient. 1 Corinthians 13, authentic, deep, lasting love is patient. Somehow, in the rustle of a few days, I had lost sight of it. I want to love Jesus with real love, and real love is patient.

So I am here. In Tacoma. With so many things waiting as dreams in my heart, not the least of which is the fatherless of the world, and Jesus is teaching me to be patient. I will be patient for Him to bring about the dreams He has etched in me. I will be patient for Him to perfect my faith. I will be patient for Him to show me the big picture. I will be patient.

And the only reason I can hope to love Jesus with a love fueled by patience? Jesus' love for me is patient. I can love Him with this authentic, patient love only because He loved me first with authentic, patient love.
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience... ~1 Timothy 1:16
He loved me first. I feel as if I could shout it to the world.

Oh friends, He is patient. I am learning to be patient, but He is the kindest teacher I know. I trust Him. I committed to trust Him with everything, to throw my life on the surety of His goodness, and I am committed to that promise. Thank God He's committed to me.

Isaiah 40:31
They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles;
They shall run and not be weary;
They shall walk and not faint.


Suz said...

This is so powerful, Annie. I can't wait to see you holding your orphans, but I will wait and pray til the day comes. Love you!!!

Anonymous said...

I can definitely relate. The story's a bit different for me, but suffice it to say, you're not the only one :).

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Amy Rachel Peterson said...

Amen, Amen, and Amen! Praying 2 Thes 3:5 for you, Annie-dear. "And may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patience of Christ."