The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and save me for his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (2 Timothy 4:18)
Fun fact about me, while I played baseball growing up, by the time I was a senior starting third baseman for my high school team, I couldn’t hit. I mean, I was bad. I went 1 for 11 my junior year and can’t remember the abysmal nature of my batting average my senior year. I think I’ve blocked it from my memory.
I can remember one game where I was so amped up, so ready to come through, so ready to be the hero I swung at pitches that were probably two feet above my head. As my bat made the proverbial ax like swing, I thought to myself, “This isn’t going to end well,” and it didn’t. Benched the next game of the doubleheader.
As I look back upon my woes with hitting (I didn’t mention I was pretty good at fielding and pitching, though I had a tendency to be a bit wild), I can definitely identify a problem, typified by my ax-like swing. I had no patience. I was always trying to hit more, do more, be more…now. I could not wait on a pitch.
Certainly this could be attributed to my anxiety over being a senior, wanting to do well, trying to be a hero. But I think this lack of patience extends far past just wanting to hit a baseball well.
I notice it in our daily lives. We aren’t patient when we are driving (a school zone!?! ugh…). We aren’t patient when we are waiting for food we ordered (my McNuggets are taking 3 minutes instead of 1 minute to cook!?!). We aren’t patient with each other (when will you get to your point so I can tell you why you’re wrong!?!).
Patience. The one thing we need, and paradoxically, the one thing we have to wait for.
I wonder if this lack of patience extends to our relationship with Christ. We want peace, now. We want hope, now. We want our prayers answered, now. We want our miracle, now. Paul’s words echo in our head: “The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack…” And we think why can’t that be me, now.
But Paul’s words aren’t just some flash in the pan, pie in the sky, hunky dory faith. We have to remember Paul was close to death. He was in prison. He knew what his fate was and he was still able to say God will be with him.
And what is more, he is able to sing a doxology. That’s what those last words are: “To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” Paul is able to give praise to God because he knows Jesus is for him. He is able to have patience because he knows what’s eventually coming, even if he doesn’t know what tomorrow brings.
We can echo Paul, we can have patience.
To God be the glory forever and ever, AMEN.