“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some count slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone come to repentance” 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV).
I have lain awake sometimes literally fearing that God would not use me. My heart so yearns for the people around me and those where I’ll be in future ministries to know Jesus that I fear, if I don’t get to places quick and start telling people about Christ, then they would never know Jesus before they die. This is obviously a silly thought probably magnified by a half-sleepy mind in the wee morning hours, but so often we run our support-raising journey in this frenzied, must-hurry-up-and-be-used state. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be used right now in the places that God calls us—after all, He did call us to go!— but, when it drives our state of mind while raising support, it can cause us to be impatient, and with impatience comes frustration, and with frustration comes a doubting spirit.
So, the question becomes—what drives your support-raising journey? What drives this journey will shape your conversations, reactions, and even your peace of mind. The rut we often get into, and it’s even emphasized in many Christian organizations, is thinking that, since money is the obstacle for our immediate use and there is a great need for us wherever it may be, then this is what becomes the force that drives us. Get it now, get it quick, and go, go, go.
However, did you catch the personalization of 1 Peter 1:9—He is patient with you. With YOU! Peter didn’t write: He is patient with the rest of the world because they need Christ until we, Christians, hurry up and get there to save people before the day of the Lord comes. His patience is personalized. He is growing you to be mature in Him, and then we get to be used with far-reaching impact. A mature person who takes the time to recognize God at work right where they are has far greater effect than one who just hurries through the process just so they can be used.
Think of raising support as a journey of faith that strips everything away so you can watch your heavenly Daddy perform great things in order to grow you. For some the initial thrust is shorter than others, but either way, it’s an incredible stage to watch His greatness. Patience doesn’t mean we stop working toward our goals and just sit to wait to see what happens, it means we rest in Him for the outcome of our labor. Thank goodness He is patient enough to mold a wretch like me into a jewel to be used for His glory!
- Let the awesome reality of God’s use of you sink in, and then praise Him for His patience as He grows you for His purposes.
- Shift your focus off the money and onto Christ so you can rest in Him.
*First posted on Godandelephants.com on July 5, 2016