Patience and beyond

Pastor John when he could run

 I must confess that I have had trouble keeping up with my running buddies due to my own inactivity.  Over the past several months I have tried a few tentative runs, actually jogs, to see if my hip was better. Each time, the same pain came back and I would stop running and walk. I’ve stretched, I’ve iced, I’ve strengthen, I’ve Ibuprofen, I’ve massaged.  I have prayed.  I have had five appointments with a physical therapist to manipulate the SI joint.  Now I am scheduling an appointment with my doctor to see what options I have.  During this inactivity, several people have told me, “You must be patient.”

I have been hearing that patient word a lot.   As a new pastor in a congregation friends tell me tobe patient as I learn new names, faces, family connections and ministry choices.  At home I am learning to be patient with my siblings as we try to remodel and sell my mother’s home in Washington state.   I know that patience is a part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22) and it is good virtue to possess.  I just wish that I could be more patient in learning to be patient.   

In my journal, as I wrote about these frustrations, I came to the realization that in the grand scheme of things, a season or two without running is not the end of the world.  I have had other such experiences of inactivity from running injuries and eventually recovered.   In fact, this hiatus may just open me to some new activity of the Holy Spirit.  Like learning to walk in the Spirit of God.  Or cross-country skiing or snow showing or cycling or yoga.

And thanks for your patient listening and prayers for my recovery.

What has been an important lesson in patience for you?

7 thoughts on “Patience and beyond

  1. Beth

    Pastor John,
    Have you tried Kinetic Physical Therapy for your SI joint? If not, it would probably be worth looking into.

  2. Leslee Donovan

    I can so relate as I face being an artist dealing with arthritis starting in both my hands. It is hard to lose or even have the threat of losing something that you enjoy doing. It is part of who you are,your identity, your gift given to you. There is a grief in a loss of the strength of your body that you go through. My solace is that Jesus sits next me and wipes my tears of impatience, frustration and even anger at losing the mobility in my hands. He gives me comfort,comfort (Isaiah40:1)

    Sometimes something we perceive as a bad thing is leading us to a good thing, a better and greater thing. God can work all things, all situations for our good. Growing or starting something new involves some pain and frustration. But that pain gets us to another place.I do think the trickiest thing is to have is compassion and patience for yourself. To trust God that he his leading us and teaching us. For us to open our hearts to new possibilities. God has plans for us we did not even think of. Have hope and know your trails will end in a better place. That God takes you by the hand,meets you right where you are, and brings you through,step by step.
    “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.”Isa40:31

    As you think of being patient look at as my friend does,as a time to look to God and remember that ALL His plans for us are for our good, and to bring glory and honor to Him. So hard to cling to that truth when in the midst of trials like this. I pray for patience and grace and good humor throughout the testing.

    1. Pastor John Keller Post author

      Leslee, thank you for your heart-felt reflections on patience. I especially appreciate the image of God being present in our suffering, taking us by the hand and walking with us, step by step. I think some of those steps are hard climbs. Mountain climbers take a break as each step is taken, pausing just a moment to let the weight rest on the bones of the legs, allowing the muscles to relax briefly. They call it a rest step. I need “rest steps” along the path as well as moments to dance and run. Thanks for keeping us focused on God’s plan. John

      1. Leslee Donovan

        thank you for sharing your story. Your reflection on what God is teaching you is a blessing to us all. God caused me to make the pit stop through the sharing of your struggle. Caused me to look to Gods word and reflect on my own situation. Grateful!!! love your sermon too!!!

  3. Pingback: Cultivating Patience | Pastor John Keller

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