Patience


“Adopt the pace of nature, her secret is patience.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
                   
Ah, patience.  Patience is a virtue and it has never been one of my strengths.  In fact that’s where this blog began, as I not-so-patiently awaited the birth of our first child, Eli.  Now our precious little boy is 16 months old and no longer a baby but a head-strong toddler.  Now the waiting game has begun for our second child.  At 18 weeks along I still have a long ways to go.  Nonetheless, my impatient soul longs to meet this little boy or girl, to know our sweet baby’s gender, the color of his or her eyes and hair, and the touch and scent of sweet newborn baby skin.

Yesterday we took Eli for his first trip to the zoo.  It was such a joy to see him marvel at the animals.  He turned and stared at me with a look of amazement as the hulking frame of a rhinoceros ambled by just ten feet in front of us.  As he marveled at the sheer size and uniqueness of each animal my pregnant body could not help but contemplate the logistics of giving birth to such monstrosities.  Did you know that African Elephants have a gestational period of somewhere around 660 days?  Talk about patience!  Forty weeks (280 days) is about all the time my mind can fathom carrying this precious little baby inside of me.  I guess God must have given African Elephants an extra dose of patience in order to endure such a long waiting period.

The animal kingdom is not the only part of nature who reflects a need for patience.  A few years back Dave and I took a road trip through the Pacific Northwest.  We backpacked out to the furthest west point in the continental U.S. in Washington State, took a ferry across the Tswassen-Swartz Bay between Vancouver and Victoria, BC, and drove along the Pacific Highway marveling at the beautiful rocky coast of Oregon. We saw so many of God’s amazing creations and were left with many beautiful photos and memories.  Our final stop was at Redwood National Forest in California.  If you have been to see the redwoods, you know that you can do nothing but stand and stare in amazement at the sheer width and height of these trees – trees that have been growing for hundreds of years and continue to grow and expand.  As humans we start out somewhere around 20 inches long and, on average, grow to somewhere between 5’5” and 5’10” (although at 5’3” and 6’2” my husband and I don’t quite fit into this expectation).  Our expected growth is limited and generally occurs over a period of 21 years or less.  These numbers are, more or less, finite.  The redwoods, however, must have patience.  Their expected growth is exponentially greater than ours and takes much longer.

Imagine if we, as humans, were able to truly take the perspective of the elephant or the redwood.  How much more patient would we become!?

Afterall, the God who created every animal and every tree created and cares for you even more.  He will carry you through whatever it is that you are struggling to be patient about. 

“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”  
Matthew 6:34

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