The perfect work of patience
"Let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." n1 How simple this Biblical instruction is, yet how often we're tempted to ignore it! When problems aren't solved as quickly as we'd like , or when circumstances delay us from reaching our goals, impatience can seem justified.
n1 James 1:4
But impatience is often only a thin disguise for self-will. It would blind us to the fact that good is in fact ever present. God is good's source. The good that God bestows is constant. It cannot be delayed or diminished. Man is the expression of God and could never exist apart from God, even for a moment.
"God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more?" writes Mary Baker Eddy. n2 "God is intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of anything He does not already comprehend? Do we expect to change perfection? Shall we plead for more at the open fount, which is pouring forth more than we accept?" n3
n2 Mrs. Eddy is the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science;
n3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,m p. 2
Christ is Truth, bringing us the true understanding of God and His constant love. As we open our thought to Christ, which Jesus lived so emphatically, we begin to feel the powerful presence of divine Love in our lives -- guiding us, protecting us, and supplying every need. But Love's provision may not necessarily conform to our timetable or our sense of the way things should happen.
Jesus went about his daily activities with complete calm and trust that his needs, and others', would be met in a timely and orderly way by God. We too can find a serene expectancy based on an affirmation of God's power and control over our affairs.
I remember one time when I was given a very fine position that made it necessary for me to move to another city. I had just one weekend to find a place to live.
I packed all my belongings into my car and drove to the city. Friday night and all day Saturday I followed up newspaper ads with growing impatience. Nothing satisfactory was available. Sunday morning found me full of irritation and dismay. I went to church, and during the service I began to realize what I'd been doing. I'd been outlining the way I thought things should be, instead of trusting God and waiting more thoughtfully for His guidance.
So I decided to spend the rest of the day studying the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy until I felt at peace. It was very difficult at first. Time was running out. It seemed that I should be spending my time looking at apartments and not just sitting around reading. But as I studied, I became more and more aware of God's presence and more willing to trust myself to His care.
The logic of doing this was inescapable. Wasn't God the only power? Could there ever be a moment when His presence was not with me to guide and bless me? How could any personal planning or reasoning be as effective as the guidance that comes from the source of all intelligence!
I began to see that if I trusted God completely I could be led to the right place to live just as effortlessly and unerringly as Jesus' disciple was led to the fish with the coin in its mouth. n4 And that is exactly what happened.
n4 See Matthew 17:27
I picked up the newspaper classified section again. Almost immediately my eyes fell on an ad for an apartment located in a section of the city where I'd hoped to live. It was then five o'clock. By eight o'clock that evening I had moved into the apartment and was completely settled. It turned out to be just what I was looking for.
The perfect work of patience does not involve passiveness or lethargy. It calls for spiritual activity. "When we wait patiently on God and seek Truth righteously," says Mrs. Eddy, "He directs our path." n5
n5 Science and Health,m p. 254.
DAILY BIBLE VERSE Ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the Lord will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. Isaiah 52:12 , 13