The Sweet Taste of Patience
A couple of days ago, observing an interaction between a mother and her child, I was reminded of how sometimes we push past obstacles, only to reach the next one. Climbing over, under, around, and sometimes through the circumstance, if only it gives us peace, wealth, power, or some other reward, in this enduring cycle of change we call life.
In this particular circumstance, I would like to relate a story from my office. Only working one day a week now, I rarely meet interesting people, and treasure those times when I do. The cutest little girl walked into the office with her mother. Her black hair, in pigtails, laid down alongside her small toffee colored skin; her eyes so bright, her dark pupils looked almost like black marbles. The sweetness in her little personality, she ran through the office speaking to everyone while her mother processed her insurance transaction.
She skipped back to my desk, her white sandals slapping against the back of her small feet drawing my attention as she bounced over to me. “Hi,” she said to me, a big grin covering her oblong face; it drew me in causing me to stop my work and speak to her.
“Hi, I replied, “What’s your name?” I asked lightheartedly. “I am three,” she responded happily, misunderstanding my question. She was just so darn cure, in her pink and white shorts and top, I giggled immersing myself in her pleasantness. A big smile growing on her face, she reached into my desk drawer and picked up a butter scotch, thanked me with the cutest grin and strutted back to her mother.
I watched as she happily showed the candy to her mother; “that’s wonderful sweetheart, but maybe we will take this home and you can eat it later.” Her mother smiled, kissed her on the cheek and took the candy. A frown came over the little girls face, twisting her small body around, she ran back around the corner and darted back to my desk. “Candy,” she asked, pulled the drawer out and searched for another butterscotch. “I don’t have anymore,” I told her. She stood still for a moment, a big smile appeared on her face, her small dark eyes sparkled cheerfully; she gazed at me as if she thought I would pull one out I had hidden away. Surely, if I had one, I would have probably given her another piece; she stole my heart.
Leaving my desk, she ran back to the counter and pointed up at a bowl full of hard and soft candies sitting on the front counter. “Here, give this to your mommy for later,” Ruth told the little girl; reaching into the bowl she passed her a grape taffy. The little girl’s eyes grew wide, instantly; she began tearing at the candy’s wrapper with her small teeth trying to open it. “No not now, you will spoil your dinner,” her mother told her, reaching for the candy; the two of them struggled for a moment, but the mother, bigger than the child, finally won out; taking away the candy, she quickly stuffed it in her purse.
I guess I should have expected what happened next, but the child’s disposition was so pleasant; I would not have thought she would act as she did. A loud scream rang out, startling all of us; it drowned out the Prince song blasting out over the radio. As if some form of epileptic seizure was taking place within her, she threw her body backwards, falling back on the concrete tile flooring. Screams and cries coming from her, she held the office captive; all of the staff and visitors were attentive to her outburst for what seemed like hours, but which in fact was only seconds. Finally quieting her down, her mother gave her the piece of grape taffy she had jammed into her purse. The little girl stood back up, her dark weeping eyes stopped leaking, and their sad appearance dissipated; as quickly as she went into the fit, she left it.
The little girl attacked the candy’s wrapping again with her teeth, trying to reach the tasty grape candy it held. Oddly enough, the tangy candy was not to her liking, she ran over to me, and handed me the sticky wet candy. I took it from her and placed it in the trash. She ran off back to her mother, who was now ready to leave; the office returned to its normal mundane pace.
Like the little girl, when things were not going quite as I expected, or were moving slower than I wanted, I tried getting to my destination, figuratively speaking, anyway I could. I have found, truthfully, that trying to get what I wanted, especially when it involved change was and is not easy. Why couldn’t God give me His promises without change; why could I not get quick answers, and mostly why were things not going as I planned them? The discomfort of trying to get the piece of candy sometimes seemed almost too much for me to handle; I allowed my circumstances to become my main focus. However in all honesty, during these times, God was with me then, as He is now. His word tells me, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it,” 1Co 10:13.
In the times of trying to get my piece of candy, I am learning to wait on God for His perfect answer; staying in prayer, hope His goodness, and faith that His word is true; I am finding He is faithful too, not letting me down as long as I hold onto Him.
When my life, and its circumstances are not as I expect, I find that the most valuable time I can spend is keeping God and his word close to me; although part of me wants to try and solve my dilemma by myself. Like the little girl, I previously thought of any candy as good, but the taste or the final outcome was often times bitter and unappealing, and not really what I wanted. Nowadays I try and wait, and I encourage you to look to God also for his guidance, allowing patience to produce a perfect work for you. James 1:4-5, “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraided not; and it shall be given him.”
When I wait for God, he gives me the butterscotch and not the tangy grape stuff that I and the little girl hate.
The Sweet Taste of Patience