On Sunday night, I made it back to Jackson just in time to make it to church that evening. I contemplated not going so I could unpack and get to my 8:00 sectional that night without any hurry. But, since I hadn’t been to EBC in a while, I just decided to go. And boy, am I glad I did.
Pastor Ben is continuing his “Going Deeper” sermon series and this particular one was on the Fruits of the Spirit. Now, those of us who’ve been raised in church since 9 months before birth can pretty much quote these (peace, patience, kindness, goodness…). But in this sermon, he really zoned in on each of the fruits and asked the congregation to pick one out to practice extra-hard this week. After going through all seven fruits and carefully examining all of them, I picked patience. Not for daily life, but for a long-term issue that’s been bothering me for a long time.
I’ve been single for over a year. The last relationship I had lasted 11 months and was no doubt the best relationship I have ever been in. I don’t regret it at all. But since then, I’ve become very lonely. I’ve had my friends and family. I’ve had places to go and things to do all the time. I’ve gotten closer to the Lord than I’ve ever been before. But over the past 5-6 months, I have longed to have that one person. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my Lord, best friends, and my family. I have the best in the world and wouldn’t trade them for anything. But somehow, they didn’t fill that void that I’ve been longing for. When Ben asked us to pick the fruit, I picked patience for this very reason. He defined it as “the calm willingness to accept situations that are irritating and painful.” Did you catch that last word? Painful. That’s what I’ve been feeling this whole time.
After he defined it and moved on to the last 3 fruits, I sat in my pew just meditating on this very subject. Being patient and waiting on God. He knows my life 50 years from now while I don’t know what tomorrow holds. If He knows more than I do and knows what need to happen in order for the 50 years to continue in His will, then I should stay in His will. Stop longing for a person that may or may not stay forever. Stop worrying about my future when I need to concentrate on what He has planned for me at this moment. Stop trying to pursue what I want and rather go after the will He’s laid out for me. This is hard to swallow. But I know, because I am a child of the Father, that my future is going to be a great one IF I become a man after God’s own heart.