J. Grant Swank, Jr.
". . .run with patience. . ." Hebrews l2:l
We laugh about being impatient. The reason that we treat that with humor is due to the fact that its seriousness is overwhelming to us. We are not good at learning the patience lesson. We know it. We are not proud of it. We want to do something about it but continue to put off the lesson training.
However, the cross beckons us to be patient in the will of God. We know that that is our dream. We want to fall in line with the step of God, indeed breathe the breaths of God. We do not want to stir up the dust in front of God's walkings, nor do we want to be laggards in traipsing behind Him. We want to keep in step, day in and day out. That would be such a peaceful way of going the journey, we conclude.
Then it is that the cross is so extremely beneficial to us. The cross is going to bring you into pace with the divine. And yet you say that you truly desire that. Then it is that you will see the cross as your gift. He has presented it to you for a variety of reasons--one of them being the lesson of patience learned.
". . .run with patience. . ." Running? Yes running. Not lagging. Not ripping up
the pavement. But running with God as God would run. It is a well measured run. It is a healthy run. It is what keeps your soul lean and trim. It contributes to the on-going healing of your spirit. Then you want to run as God would have His children run--with patience.
God turns to the right. You turn with Him. God turns to the left. You turn with Him. Then God goes uphill. You go uphill with Him. Next it is into the vale. You go into the vale, too. It is the run with God that then stretches out into the horizon which never ends. It is a run which keeps on going and going and going into the eternal run.
Patience in the moment-by-moment teaches you how to listen to your athletic coach, how to heed His commands and watch for His signals. It is a run which is difficult if you think you are running the track alone; then you get into real trouble--in too many ways. But when you do get into trouble, then you want to get hold of yourself in order to remind your ears to listen more carefully. When you do, you will pick up again with the Master's directives. He has not left you. You had left Him. As soon as you heed Him anew, you will discover that He has been there all along.
Patience is then stripping down for the run so as to let the coach dress you. He will garb you in just enough to make you humble and modest. He will not attach unnecessary regalia. That would impede the run.
Patience will also loosen you up so as not to grab hold of unnecessary items. You don't need them. The world will tell you that you do; but the coach will remind you that there is very little that you need in this life to make the run. Then the coach will point to His own earthly journey when He indeed had not even a pillow for His head.
Patience will remind you to be more like your coach and less like the world. You then will sense such joy come upon your spirit because you have come into another plateau of life realization. It is that plane whereby the coach is able to get hold of your heart for the unseen goal. You will then come to understand that the patient run has its own rewards. And they are not all at the close of the race; many are for enjoying right here on earth in this existence.
Patience is a most valuable commodity in that it brings the cross closer and closer to Calvary Christ. And in that is your patience fulfilled. It is realizing that the whole patient lesson has been to reveal more of Jesus' heeding of the Father's will. He then will teach you how to do the same.