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Daily Devotion – May 16, 2018
05.17.18

We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.  For in hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 

Romans 8:22-25

Reflection by Matthew Alexander

Waiting and being patient has never been my thing.   I remember when I first became aware of this.   It was during a family vacation to Disney World one year.  I was elementary school age, the day was hot, I was told it was July, and I had come to my wits end with the heat and standing in one line after another.  My nerves had been tested as I waited in line for an hour or more for each ride to finally make it to the Promised Land, sit in the seat, get comfortable, ride, and let out a quick scream and then be asked to get off the ride only to walk to another line to stand in and repeat the process.  Despite Disney World being known as the happiest place on earth, I was anything but happy.   I was tired of waiting and I had reached my breaking point as I started to let my parents know about it.

We did not go on many vacations as a kid.  Mostly, it was because my dad had to work a lot and did not choose to spend his money on “fancy and expensive” vacations like Disney World.  So, to be there for vacation was a big deal.  My father was already anxious about being there since in his mind he was spending money instead of making money at work.  Therefore, he did not take kindly to my mumbling, my attitude and my overall displeasure with the lines at Disney World.  To say hell broke loose was an understatement.  Dad, who was known to have a short fuse, threatened to pack us up all in the car immediately and drive us home.  Meanwhile, mom was attempting to negotiate peace between my dad and I and my brother cried because he did not want to leave because we had not gotten to ride Space Mountain yet.  We were all fighting with each other and it felt like the whole park was watching us fight.  Cooler heads did eventually prevail and we stayed, although most of the rest of that day was spent not saying much to each other.

Like I said, patience is not my thing.  Even to this day, I have to take lots of deep breaths when I am waiting.  With bigger issues, like with my wife’s recent cancer treatment, I am not much different.  I have to constantly center myself in God’s presence as we (my family) wait for it to be over.   It drives me crazy the waiting.  I hope that everything will turn out ok and that more treatment won’t be necessary.  I hope that the cancer has not spread.  I hope that nothing like this ever happens again.  I am anxious.  I want to get through standing in this line quickly so that we can reach the Promised Land, be comfortable, enjoy the ride and let out a loud scream.  Until then, we wait.

In my hopeful waiting I am learning, as difficult as it is some days, to rest in the day, give thanks for all that I have and trust in the fruits of kindness, gentleness AND patience.  I hope that just as promised redemption will be the reward for my waiting.

Prayer:

Be with us, O Lord, as we learn to wait.  Give us spirits that are kind, grateful, and gentle as we hope for the adoption and redemption of our bodies.  Life makes it difficult to live with such patience, so be patient with us also.  Amen

 



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