Monday, May 6, 2013


Impatient! Suddenly it came to mind that what I was experiencing was impatience.  I was out with my youngest daughter, doing some shopping for her mother’s birthday and Mother’s Day.  It was our best opportunity of the week to get this task done.  We left on our errands right after I came home from work and I hoped to get them done in an hour, when we would arrive back at home for supper.

On my way home from work I had had what I thought was a brilliant idea for a birthday gift, so that was our first stop.  The planned gift turned out to be at the store I had guessed might have it but in completing the purchase things began to go.  My credit card wouldn’t go through.

So I called the number on the back of the card and waited.  And waited.  About the time I had decided on “Plan B” someone picked up the phone and we worked out the problem.  Bad news and good news. There appeared to be fraudulent activity so they were going to cancel my card, but they would allow our transaction to go through.  We made the purchase and activated Plan B anyway, which was a side trip to the credit union to get some cash.

Off to the second stop of our trip, taking more time than was planned for.  We had a bit of a roundabout trip due to all the traffic, as people drove home from work.  After that stop I called home and told Robin we’d need another half hour.  About the time I made that call the traffic got worse.  Bumper to bumper through town.  We moved over to let a fire engine through and when we got to the corner and made the turn we saw the fire engine a half mile down the road, at the location of our next turn.

Another roundabout path to our next destination, which was when it occurred to me that I was suffering from impatience, large and small.  To end the story, we did get the errands done and home for an absolutely delicious dinner.  But back to impatience.

It occurred to me that not only was I impatient due to relatively little things, such as getting these errands done and the obstacles that were appearing, but also due to several larger things, things that are really out of my hands and where I’m are waiting on the decisions of other people.  And what occurred to me as soon as I realized I was being driven by impatience was the application of a sermon I read last week based on the Heidelberg Catechism.  (I’ve written about the Catechism before, here and here.)

In describing God’s providence question-and-answer 28 of the Catechism says this:

Q. How does the knowledge of God's creation and providence help us?
A. We can be patient when things go against us, thankful when things go well, and for the future we can have good confidence in our faithful God and Father that nothing in creation will separate us from his love. For all creatures are so completely in God's hand that without his will they can neither move nor be moved.

In discussing this question-and-answer G.H. Kersten wrote:

“All things happen according to God’s counsel, but it is a comfort for God’s children that the Lord will guide them with His counsel, and afterward receive them to glory.  May the Lord comfort you with that thought.  Endure the oppression and scorn of the world for a short season.  Let men despise, exclude, and trample upon you; soon it will all be ended.  Before the throne of God you will sing, more than anything else, of the deepest ways – singing unto Him who led you and redeemed you to praise and glorify Him forever.  Amen.”

As I  considered the Catechism and Kersten’s thoughts on it I came to the conclusion that what I needed to do was to lay my impatience before God, for I know and trust that all of creation, from the first day to the last, and all of my life, from conception to my last breath, is fully in His hands.

Neither the little things nor the big things that try my patience right now can compare to the eternal security I possess in the love of Christ, a love that holds me now and will never let go.  A love that, as Kersten writes, has redeemed me to praise and glorify Him forever.

May you too know the providence of God's love, so that you can let go of your anxiety and impatience and live in His providence and peace, a peace as described by Paul in Philippians 4:7,

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

(Here is a link to a different translation of the Catechism, including the scripture references that underscore each answer.)   

Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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