Thursday, October 11, 2007

Battling Impatience

Chris brought home the book Battling Unbelief last week by John Piper. And like most books he brings home to read, I stole it from his nightstand. I'll be honest, I have skipped through a few chapters but what I've read so far has been absolutely outstanding. The chapter I skipped to is, Battling Impatience. Something I feel I attempt to battle daily. He begins with this:

" Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of God's guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered. It may be prompted by a long wait in a checkout line or a sudden blow that knocks out half our dreams. The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It's a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience- to wait in his place and go at his pace."

So I'm more in the "long wait in a checkout line" category. I seriously was in a long wait at a store the night prior to reading this. I was so struggling with this guy who could not make a decision as to what to get. Only to watch him buy something, return it right there and buy something else instead. Yeah I was not exhibiting a "peaceful" disposition as I tapped my toes frantically behind him! I don't have time for this, I thought.

It's the daily in and out's that seem to "mess up" my nice schedule. No where is coloring on my table with a permanent marker in my schedule. Nor wetting the bed, so now I have to wash sheets for the third time this week. I also don't schedule in sibling fights during room time or again more accidents, while doing my devotions. I lose patience when things just don't go as planned. How I want to have a peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place and pace of life.

A few pages later Piper says:
" Patience is the evidence of an inner strength. Impatient people are weak, and therefore dependent on external supports- like schedules that go just right and circumstances that support their fragile hearts. (ouch)Their outbursts of oaths and threats and harsh criticism of culprits who crossed their plans do not sound weak. But that noise is all a camouflage of weakness. Patience demands tremendous inner strength."

If you struggle at all like me with impatience and unbelief, I highly recommend this book to you. The key, piper says, is to take hold of the promises of future grace and use them to conquer the unbelief of impatience!

"Infinite wisdom has arranged the whole with infinite love; and infinite power enables me- to rest upon that love. I am in a dear Father's hands- all is secure. When I look to Him, I see nothing but faithfulness- and immutability- and truth; and I have the sweetest peace- I cannot have more peace."
Charles Simeon


Briana Almengor said...

Piper has a way of "stinging", doesn't he? But, it's good. This was very convicting, esp. the impatience being a veiled weakness part. Ouch.

meg said...

So good Tara. Thanks for posting. can't wait to get that book!

Jacob said...

Great book! I reviewed it on my blog and the conclusion is that you should get Future Grace instead.

Shawnda said...

Piper ALWAYS gets right to the root of what I need!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing that! Looks like I'll be adding that to the "next read" list!!!! Right now I'm reading A Woman's answer to's that tell you my patience level is? : (

Thanks so much for sharing this! I wish we could read it and get together about it!!!!!!!! I was tellling somebody the other day that there's one blogger I'd definitely like to meet in person -and that's you! : ) I just love your humility and honest need for Jesus!!! Thanks so much for being REAL!

Tara said...

that's kind shawnda... I'd love to meet you too! You never know with how small the "Sovereign Grace" world is it might just happen one day!