In contrast to my idealistic college friends, Christians in my home church seemed dull and lethargic. They weren't staying up until 2 AM to witness to their neighbors. Church members were not spontaneously taking road trips to Christian events.
I had a shallow understanding of a deep Christianity that is tested by trial, and, I am ashamed to admit, I felt those local people were losers.
Oh, the impatience of youth!
Those of us who serve God in a local church need to realize that fellow believers are worth our love, time and patience. These precious Christians are the apple of God's eye. They are bought with a price. He hides them in the shadow of His wings. They are not losers.
Yes, sometimes they disagree with us or flaunt sinful behavior or share deep pains that we can hardly bear. But, if we are going to have an eternal impact on people in the church, we need to ask God for patience with them as they are sanctified. "See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient." James 5:7b, 8a
As God supplies patience, we start to see people as He does and not as those who get in our way on the path to "success." We can thank God for allowing us to witness progress in godliness that others make. This movement, however slow, is part of a pilgrimage that glorifies God.
As Eugene Peterson points out in his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, all Christians need patience for the journey. Sisters, let's pray for it and wait for precious fruit.
Other postings in the series: