Patience, Appreciation: We Don’t Often Notice
“Said ‘Woman, take it slow, and it’ll work itself out fine,’
All we need is just a little patience
Said ‘Sugar, make it slow and we’ll come together fine'”
All we need is just a little patience…”
“Patience” by Guns and Roses
I can’t recall a time when I’ve felt so weary in my bones. There is something about the heaviness of this year and all the things that are wrapped up in it that make the world look a bit more lackluster.
I was talking with my sister tonight about how I couldn’t even find words to put together a column with. Writer’s block isn’t something that comes often — but when it does, I often reach out to her or my mom for help. (Who am I kidding — I reach out to them for everything.)
She related a story to me about something that happened to her recently — she got some new headphones that had a higher quality sound. She put them on and played her suggested playlist, and was so immersed in the sound and the beauty of the instruments playing together, she didn’t realize it was a song she didn’t particularly like.
“And how many things are like that in our lives?” She asked. “I didn’t even know there was an oboe in Ziggy Stardust!”
How many indeed. How many opportunities do we have in life to see the brighter side, when we are only focusing on the darkness? I fail at this almost constantly. I focus on the things I don’t have, the things I can’t do, the experiences that are just out of my reach — instead of looking at the bounty and blessings I do have. I overlook the best and brightest blessings I have to grasp feebly for things that may or may not come instead of embracing the beauty and grace of all that God has entrusted to me.
If I am granted little, little is expected of me. If I am granted much, much is expected of me.
Whether I am always aware of it or not, I have been granted much. An abundance that is overflowing — and I am not always managing it well. I am looking to manage other things that have not yet been granted when I really am not ready to manage them.
Maybe, I just need a little patience, as Guns and Roses singer Axel Rose so aptly said.
This song was playing during my labor with my youngest. It was a difficult labor, and I remember thinking in that time of pain and exhaustion that the pain would never end and the labor would never be over. But as the words wrapped themselves around the pain of those moments, the theme of patience took root. As they say in the birthing classes, you can get through anything for a minute.
Right now, we all are like a woman in labor. We are experiencing a strange and uncomfortable time that can be painful and confusing. We don’t know when this time will be over; we don’t know what this time will bring and how we will endure it. However, when we get through this time, we will be the better for it. We will arise, stronger and with more endurance — ready for the path that is laid before us.
As it says in Romans 8:22, “For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.” The world was not meant to be as it is now — sin distorted life as we know it, and we are still dealing with those repercussions today. Yet, we were not left in this despair — Jesus, the Light of the World, was sent to take on our sins and redeem us. Paul continues in Romans 8:23-25, “And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” With just a little patience, taking time to appreciate the hidden gems that we tend to overlook like the circumstances and people that make our lives worthwhile, we can and will get through this turbulent period. We can take hope in the unseen grace of redemption, comfort and peace that Jesus has given us freely — but only if we look beyond our immediate circumstances and see what God has provided us.