Our readings today speak to me of faith in God and God’s timing, which is always right, but is very hard for us to accept because we always want things our way on our time.
“The vision still has its time, it presses
on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
Habakkuk speaks about our misplaced gratitude. When we are on top of our game we are thankful to ourselves and our ‘stuff,’ the nets that have made us successful, not to God who is the true provider. But when we are hurting God is to blame.
When we ask for help or an answer to our distress, God assures Habakkuk and us that the answer always comes and it always comes at the right time AND it never disappoints. It is what it should be. Is our faith strong enough to believe that? This takes patience and trust.
Patience is another word (like love, hope, faith) that the world has devalued by giving it another definition. It is not dogged determination to be endured by white-knuckled will power in an attitude of resentment and disdain. The biblical portrait of patience, as we see in Habakkuk, is one of absolute confidence in the sovereignty of God and God’s promise to bring all things to completion at the right time.
Patience is a FRUIT of the Spirit. Fruits are the part of the plant that feeds and disseminates the seeds. Patience as the fruit of the Spirit is love for the long haul. Patience is not optional for the Christian. Paul repeatedly commands Christians to be patient with each other (Eph 4:1-3, Col 3:12. 1 Thess 5: 13-14, 2 Tim 2:24-25). Authentic patience is a hallmark of true Christian character and is the very evidence of regeneration. “If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come.”
Faith is a gift of the Spirit. It is given to us at our Baptism and renewed each time we receive any of the sacraments, but we must receive the gift. If we just leave it wrapped in its pretty package, we are missing the power and love that the gift imparts. Jesus tells us today that faith the size of the mustard seed can move mountains. Yet we doubt, we do not trust in God’s love, in God’s promises, in God’s timing, in God’s ability to accomplish the highest good in a given situation.
When we willingly give God our trust, God’s spirit of power can move through us into the world and God’s spirit of love can be realized through our actions. Nothing will be impossible for us, we can even move mountains.
“Let nothing disturb you, nothing frighten
you, all things are passing, God is unchanging. Patience gains all;
nothing is lacking to those who have God: God alone is sufficient.”
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