As I said in my last post, God has been stretching and teaching me this summer. Some of the things I’m learning are trust, patience, perseverance/endurance, rest, and joy. A major classroom for patience and perseverance this summer has been at work.
Last year I made the decision to quit my full time, with-benefits-job, at a great company, to attend Central Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. I’ll admit, the transition from working in a professional environment and having an income, to being a student without an income was a little strange. Having been homeschooled through high school, I really didn’t know what to expect at school, so decided not to work until I was more accustomed to being in school. Toward the middle of the semester I started dreading looking for a summer job. But, God faithfully provided and I was able to return to the company I worked for last year. I was hired to help edit their catalog and collect information for it, and to do whatever other random projects they needed done.
My first week back, I told my co-worker, who happens to be a sister in Christ, about something I’d heard at school. In Old Testament, the professor told us that the law contained instructions for entering God’s presence. It told what to do, and what not to do; he compared it to instruction sheets for chemicals. From working in lab supply distribution, I knew the instruction sheets as MSDS’s or Material Safety Data Sheets. It was a great comparison for me!
At work that same week, lab supplies taught me another lesson. The first project I was given was to delete thousands of alternate item id’s. Individually. Days on end were spent copying and pasting the item, clicking delete, clicking “save”, and clicking “okay”. I calculated that I was able to do thirteen item id’s a minute. It was a perfect description of the word monotonous. That first week I really learned patience and endurance.
Days of copying and pasting, and being on hold at work have taught me patience on a moment-by-moment level. But I’ll be honest, there are times I can lack patience in life. Sometimes I wish things would happen on my timetable instead of God’s. Do you ever get impatient waiting for God to act? I do! I’d love to know when God is going to do something and when He’s going to do it. The times that I’ve grown impatient have been times that I don’t see how or when God is going to do something. It seems like the times that my patience has been tested are really times that my faith has been tested.
James 1:3,4 says, “For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything.” Developing endurance and patience is hardly enjoyable, but being strong in character and ready for anything sounds like a worthwhile result. When our faith is tested and endurance is developed, we will stand firm in our faith (Isaiah 7:9), and we will be able to stand firm no matter what comes.
My co-worker laughed when I told her I was learning patience and endurance through copying an pasting item id’s. She said that learning through MSDS’s and item id’s was a funny way to learn. Maybe it is, but I’m so thankful to be taught!
“We also pray that you will be strengthened with his glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy,” Colossians 1:11