My bestie is just a ball of talent. I admire the way that she can tap into her God-given talents and use them to glorify and bring honor to His mighty name. My bestie served as the editor to my latest book, the writer of the foreword in said book, the photographer for several pictures in said book, the t-shirt designer for my first two #GodHappenedToME shirts, and so many other things! She is a phenomenal woman with an amazingly crafty mind and I just love her. Considering her overall ability to do anything she puts her mind to, it was not surprising to me when she said that God had given her a new call to action- a natural body butter business line. In January of this year, Aunt Bunny’s Body Butter was born and since then, she has been whipping and creating unique mixtures to her heart’s desire.
As her bestie, I have been able to sample her products during the company’s infancy and I have fallen in love with her product line! As the name implies, she offers body butters, arthritis creams, hair growth oils, and many other things… but her body butter is my favorite. Normally, I hate body butter because it is too greasy, and I am very particular about how my hands must feel. However, her body butter is just right, and my hands love it. While I love her products (and so do those who have tried them), Amy was feeling a bit unsure about the last batch and asked me if I thought it was too thick and/or too hard to get out of the container. I told her the truth: “your product is all natural and, while it may be a bit harder to come out, it is worth the wait; plus, it melts/softens in your hand.”
I did not realize until today the power of my response to her.
If I need patience when dealing with body butter, then maybe, just maybe, I need to exercise patience in other areas of my life, as well.
Open your bibles to Isaiah 40:31 (NKJV)
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Patience is a virtue… one that I have never had. While many sermons from my youth went in one ear and out the other, sermons on patience always landed in my head and heart. I distinctly remember one sermon from Amy’s dad on patience in which he said that when we pray for patience, we are then placed in situations that will try our patience. He further added that patience is built and developed; it is not freely given. I stopped praying for patience that very day.
In fact, I spent a good portion of my life trying to avoid praying for patience because I did not want to be tested/tried. I would tell people all the time “I never learned how to crawl; I went straight from sitting to walking. If I did not have the patience to learn how to crawl, I do not have patience for this.” And as God would have it, I am currently in a field that requires a limitless amount of patience and compassion.
Patience is not just that quality that you exhibit when someone is trying your last nerve. Patience is also what causes us to wait on God and allow Him to work in His way, and on His time. When we go before the Lord in prayer, we are always told to exercise faith, believing that the Lord will “hear our faintest cry and answer by and by.” But we often forget that “He may not come when you want Him, but He’ll be there right on time.” (Yes, I love old school church songs.)
God’s timing is not our timing, nor are His ways our ways. He is never late, and He never delays. To be honest, oftentimes He must prepare us for the weight and responsibility of what we are requesting. God hears our prayers and His answers are YES, NO, and NOT YET. It is in that NOT YET that we must exercise patience, trusting that God is preparing us for all that a YES will entail.
Think back on your last prayer that God answered with NOT YET. Can you see how He has/had to prepare every other aspect of your life before fulfilling that request? God cannot bless us with anything new (e.g. job, home, car, credit, relationship, etc.) if we are still holding onto/misusing/taking for granted that which we already have. And it is in our patience that we learn just how He plans on preparing us for whatever is next.
In all things and at all times, we must:
- Trust that God knows what is best for our lives.
- Have faith in His ability to provide and reign in our lives.
- Wait on Him; for all things will be done in His time.
- Move in faith when He does speak.
Psalm 27 is my favorite chapter of the bible and I will close this #MondayMessage with its last two verses (Psalm 27:13-14, NKJV):
I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.
Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!