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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Do Not Grow Weary in Doing Good

Photo of impatiens...not to be confused with impatience

...but always a gentle reminder not to be impatient.

“Let us not become weary in doing good
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Galatians 6:9 NIV

Today I’m at my breaking point! Frankly, I’ve had it!! As I stomp out to the garden I realize that I am in such a tizzy that I have forgotten my coffee! Oh well, too late now. Today is the day that the Master Gardener and I are going to have it out about a few things. You may remember, I am a list maker and in my opinion lists are made so that finished projects can be crossed off. Today I am clutching in my hand a very well worn, crumpled up, tear stained prayer list. Needless to say many entries on this list are NOT crossed off. Frankly, I’m tired and weary of hauling this list around in my pocket. I want some answers and I want them now!

As I enter the garden, Jesus is almost laughing at my ridiculous, self-centered approach. I speak a gruff good morning as I plop myself down in the middle of a beautiful flower bed, hoping that somehow the beauty of these flowers will rub off on me. Jesus reaches down and takes me by my hand and pulls me up. Jesus’ tone of voice is calm and loving but his message is clear. “Paula, I don’t think you will be sitting here today. Today the “impatience” garden is far more suitable.”

And so the complaining begins, “Jesus, I am tired of praying for the same things over and over again. Are you even listening? Do you care? Are my prayers not worthy of your answers? Why is this taking so long? Don’t I have enough faith? If that’s the problem then exactly how much faith do I need and how much am I still lacking? Frankly Jesus, I’ve got to tell you that I’m frustrated. You tell me that it is good to pray but I am growing very weary. Lord I’m in desperate need of understanding prayer because I am next to giving up.”

Jesus looks into my eyes with the love and understanding that only he could possess and he begins teaching and I listen. Jesus begins by saying, “do not become weary in doing good,” Galatians 6:9 NIV After spending a good bit of time in the garden I start my walk back to the demands of life, but I will take away some wonderful words spoken by Jesus this morning.

“…I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 16:23b NIV I’m now starting to process the fact that perhaps I have been asking for my will not Jesus’ will. It is possible that they could already be the same, but according to this scripture I am compelled to search my heart with regards to my request. Have I been seeking God’s will or my will? Have I left the outcome up to him? It is very much like presenting a requisition list for supplies to the CEO of a company. The question is will my request for supplies be approved? Will Jesus be able to sign his name to my prayer request? Will Jesus read the list and know that what I have asked for is not really what I need? Will God’s eternal plan for my life override my personal desires? No doubt, there are times when my request is not in my best interest or in the best interest of the one for whom I am praying. Tears of sorrow and fear often cloud my vision with regard to God’s eternal answers.

“Before he had finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder.” Genesis 24:15 NIV Today I learned something new. The answer to a prayer prayed according to God’s will begins to be accomplished even before I stop praying. In this case Rebekah came out immediately, but I must also realize that even though the answer to my prayer begins the moment I pray it may not be fully released at that time. As a result, my prayer now should be thank you God that the answer is on the way and a future prayer will hold the thanksgiving of the completed answer.

“Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” John 11: 40 NIV This type of thinking will present me with the challenge of exhibiting faith and trust as I wait for God’s answers to my prayers. This exercise in believing God is already at work will also be a time when I must learn the lesson of waiting on God. I must not assume that a delayed answer to prayer is a “no” but rather see it as simply a sign that God is on the job but all things are not ready. Very simply put I must “hang in there!” I must also learn to accept the fact that some of my prayers may never be answered in my lifetime, but that fact does not make those prayers any less important.

So a few final thoughts, today I am treasuring the prayers that my deceased parents have prayed for me. They did not live to see the person I have become or am becoming in Christ Jesus. I love knowing that even though my mother only knew our children briefly her prayers for them are stored in heaven. My two grandchildren are blessed because of the prayers that their great grandmothers and great grandfathers have prayed for them even before they were born. And so I too will continue to pray for the faces of loved ones that I may never know. God has promised me that he is carving out blessings for a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Exodus 20:6) I do not want to grow weary in doing the good work of prayer. Long after I am gone, God will continue to call the souls of those that do not know him to himself. God will continue to call his children who are not making their walk with God a priority. The prayers that I have prayed for those people will never go unnoticed by God. He will continue to draw those individuals to himself because caring people have prayed. The events in life may not fall into place until I have left this world, but still I will continue to persevere in prayer.

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
Isaiah 40:28-31 NIV


What have you prayed for that you think will never be answered?

Are you growing weary in doing the good work of prayer?

Are you comforted in knowing that even when you grow weary in doing good, God does not grow weary?

In the future how will you view your answered prayers that have not yet become sight?

How does it make you feel to realize that your prayers will out live you?


Dear God,

Thank your for today’s lessons learned in the garden. It is very clear that this day I have been in need of an attitude check. Forgive me God for my impatience. God, I am amazed to know that even before I finish praying that you have placed my prayer in a pile marked “To Be Accomplished!” Today God, I release to you my time table and I embrace your promise that you will answer me according to your perfect will. God I am counting on you. I am waiting in anticipation for the day that you will show up with the answer in your hand. I accept the fact that I may never see the answer to my prayer but I will continue to completley trust you and believe that my prayers are stored in heaven and will out live me.

So it is…
In Your Son’s Name (according to your perfect will) that I bring all my requests. Amen.