Patience in our growth – (LENT SEASON)
What is the lent season?
In Christianity, Lent represents a time of preparing for Easter. It commences on Ash Wednesday, thus six and a half weeks before Easter. It is also marked as forty days of fasting to imitate Jesus, the Christ, and his 40-day fasting prior to his ministry.
ALSO READ: Devotional: Know God through His works
REFLECTIONTHEME: PATIENCE IN OUR GROWTH
SCRIPTURE READING: PSALM 92
The Psalmist praises God for His works in his life. The Psalmist observed that the wicked and the unrighteousness may seem to be flourishing and successful but it is for a short time, their destruction is forever. However, a faithful and righteous person is exalted by God and flourishes steadily through the works of the Lord.
It is expected that as we grow we have dreams and aspirations of becoming successful in the future. Some people resort to corrupt and evil means of making money thereby creating a false image of achievement and success. On the other hand, those who put in their best and try to uphold the Christian virtue of faithfulness, fairness, and integrity at their workplaces or in their business dealings may seem not to be doing well.
It appears corruption pays more than integrity and handwork work in the world in which we find ourselves. Someone works for 40 years yet his or her reward does not much the sacrifices the person made while in active service but someone in the same department who is new and by far junior to the one who worked for 40 years, comes into the picture; because the new and junior person is corrupt and succumbs to the sinister demands of the system, makes soo much money to the extent that the one who had worked 40 years feels he or she had worked in vain.
The Psalmist tells us that growth in the Lord is a matter of patience. Patience in this context is endurance and faith in the Lord. You may be comparing yourself with a colleague or mate who is doing better than you. You may be complaining to God about your current status and how others have become rich and you are still living in a condition that can be described as middle-income level. You may be asking God why others own their cars and you cannot even boast of a bicycle. There are times we know very well that the people we are comparing ourselves with could not have become rich in that short time, given the position and the kind of work or business they find themselves in. The Psalmist reminds us in Psam 92:6-7 that “The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever.”
Beloved in the Lord we must grow patiently and be content with the grace and blessings of God even as we serve Him and work with the best of our ability, integrity, probity and accountability. The Psalmist encourages us to never look back nor compare ourselves with anyone because “the righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”(Psalm 92:12-15) When you read the Autobiography of the late Very Rev.Dr Seth Senyo Agidi, you will learn that he started his ministry with a bicycle and ended in a Land Cruiser V8. He started from a poor and humble begin to the Moderator of EPCG. The picture of his first bicycle is in the book. No condition is permanent. Your life is in hands of God.
In the lent season, we continue to grow patiently in the Lord through prayer, Bible study and reflections, fasting, and abstinence from that which is morally and spiritual retrogressive. Beloved in the Lord, always count your blessings one by one, be content, and show appreciation to the Lord as the Psalmist did in Psalm 92:1-5 when he said “It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands, I sing for joy. How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep!” Let us go through the lent season by living a life of appreciation and contentment even as we patiently grow by the grace and blessings of God. Amen.
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QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION
1. When you look back from where you started, what are you grateful for?
2. Does the achievement of others make you nervous and uncomfortable? Could it be envied or inferiority complex?
3. Do you take time to reflect on what you have that others do not have, for which you should live a life of gratitude?
GOD, YOU CALL US TO BE PLANTED AND FLOURISH IN YOUR HOUSE. GRANT US THE PATIENCE AND INSIGHT TO GROW SLOWLY INTO BEING ABUNDANTLY FRUITFUL.