For someone who gets fidgety at a traffic stop, learning patience brings gifts of grace.
Posted in , Aug 4, 2017
It had been a long business trip. I was tired and ready to get home. We’d already had multiple flight delays, so I was relieved when we finally boarded the plane. The flight attendants shut the door, settled the passengers, and soon after, I heard the beautiful sound of the engines firing.
As is typical in Atlanta, we waited a bit on the tarmac for our turn on the runway. And then finally, we started moving. Slowly. We did that for about 10-15 minutes, and then the plane stopped and an announcement came over the speakers with words to the effect that we’d had a delay, and we’d be in a holding pattern for a little while.
That “little while” turned into 90 minutes. Sitting on the tarmac in those extra tight seats on small planes and with almost no air conditioning on a day that had hit 105 degrees, it seemed like forever!
Just for the record, “holding patterns” are not my spiritual gift. Waiting is not something that comes easily to me. I’m more like the sports car with the engine rumbling at the traffic stop while it waits for the light to turn green.
But now with the benefit of lessons learned as I’ve reached my (ahem) advanced age, I’ve realized something: When God asks me to stay in a holding pattern, I’d be wise to accept that with grace and a good attitude.
Here are a few things He’s shown me:
His timing is perfect. Why would I want to move ahead with something before God says, “I’m ready”?
His plan is always what’s best for me—and far better than any of my plans.
Sometimes those holding patterns are for my benefit. To teach me something. To connect me with someone. Or to wait while He finishes putting pieces in place.
Sometimes that waiting seems like forever, just like it did on that hot airplane. But it’s always a wise decision for me to trust the One who pilots my life and to wait until He says, “It’s time to move now.”
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader