Romans 5:3-5 (MSG)
3-5 There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we’re never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can’t round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!
I read about a group of people that were panning for gold.
The group was panning for gold using black plastic, ribbed gold pans. They were all trying their best to do what the tour guide was patiently trying to teach them to do: separate the tiny gold flakes from the sand.
As he dug some dirt from the side of the smooth flowing river and put clumps of it in each of their pans, he emphasized that patience was the most important virtue when trying to find gold. After sifting for more than fifteen minutes, one of the group started to doubt that even one tiny flake of gold could be found. Besides, he saw many beautiful things that could be photographed! So he put down his gold pan with its remaining sand and started shooting pictures of the beauty surrounding him instead.
Eventually he had all the pictures he needed, and to his surprise, the rest of the group was still panning for gold! His wife encouraged him to keep trying, so to please her, he picked up his gold pan and sifted it a bit more. Imagine his surprise when he found gold in his pan. His doubt and his impatience were keeping him from finding the gold!
This is also true for those of us who want to attain victory over our addictive obsessions. We have too much doubt and too little patience. This makes for a deadly combination that will hinder us from seeing clearly. Too often we are unaware that the gold (victory) is just around the counter.
There can be no victory with doubting. There can be no break-through with impatience.
Interestingly enough, once he found those gold flakes, he gave them away to the birthday boy of the group. Once we experience victory, we can't help but share it with others.
Dear Lord, fill us with your Spirit and grant us the necessary faith and patience to trust in You. Help us experience You fully in our life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.