Well those two words “if only” can bring such conviction into our lives, can’t they? “If only” I had done this, instead of that. “If only” I hadn’t done that, instead of this. There must be thousands of times I have muttered those two words in my lifetime. I don’t like those two words at all. There are so many times that the “if only” circumstances should have spurred me on to pray and to wait on God. However, I am like the disciple Peter, only I tend to be like Peter before the resurrection of our Lord, not the Peter after Jesus’ resurrection. If only, I could be like that Peter, the one who, with Paul and the others, became the champion of our Christian faith. See, there’s another “if only” that points to my failures and inadequate capabilities.
I am the impatient Peter – I don’t want to accept delays, I want and I think that I need to act, and by act I mean act right now; sometimes foolishly, sometimes impulsively. Don’t tell me to wait, on my own I can’t do that. I am too much a typical type A personality. I freely admit that I am one of “those” people, you know the kind. To have to wait, when I want to act, is torture to me. At times (maybe most times), I simply don’t seem to be able to understand the concept of just being available for readiness for when God decides it’s time. That’s simply not in my underlying nature – that’s hard, so very hard. There’s so many times in my life that I think that God has forgotten His promise, so I take matters into my own hands. What a disaster I make of things, then God has to come behind me and fix things – honestly it’s like the child who continues to spill milk all over the dinner table, only for someone else to have to clean it up. If only I would learn.
Slowly, but surely, God places me into situations where He molds me into what He wants me to become, refining me just like someone prunes a bonsai tree. A little snip here, a little refinement there. It’s a slow process, and I can see improvements here and there.
I find that by entering into each day with Bible study (First 5 is my favorite) – reading the chapter, absorbing the teaching, reflecting on the points of interest, journaling my observations (which by the way requires me to do a significant amount of soul searching), and sharing them on the First 5 Bible study app, in my groups, and on my blog brings God and His desires for my life into greater focus. What God wants me to do, who He wants to prune me into becoming has become my primary focus. It centers me. It encourages me. It gives me peace. It actually makes me more patient and loving.
But it is only by keeping my focus and continually meeting with God, am I able to be transformed into the Peter after Jesus’ resurrection. I can’t do it on my own, and I have a long way to go. God never intended for us to do life on our own, apart from Him. It is He that makes me complete and whole. Praise God!
Hosea 12:6 “So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God.” ESV
Micah 7:7 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. ESV