Joshua 14:7, “I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought word back to him as it was in my heart.”
1 Corinthians 15:49, “Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”
2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.”
2 Peter 3:11-13, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”
An Elusive Virtue
In 1404, twenty-five-year-old Lorenzo Ghiberti won a commission to build and adorn a pair of bronze doors for the north side of the baptistery in the cathedral of Florence, Italy. He took twenty-one years to design and cast the masterpieces, dividing the doors into twenty-eight New Testament panels. They cost $550,000. The donors then asked him to make corresponding double doors for the baptistery’s east side. This endeavor took twenty-seven years and featured the Old Testament in ten panels. He spent forty-eight years on just two projects, but his time and effort left artistic masterpieces for generations to admire.
Building spiritual lives challenges us to a perseverance that defies even Ghiberti. The free will, prejudice, stubbornness, and pride that mocks God are all obstacles to change and growth. The life produced by the Spirit in the Word seldom comes easily or quickly. People are never as easy to mold as bronze and wood. Although a skilled craftsman can predict how basic elements will react under given stimuli, the spiritual leader never masters the moods and reactions of people.
Courtesy of Speaker’s Sourcebook of New Illustrations by Virgil Hurley copyright © 1995 by Word, Incorporated. Used by permission.
*Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.
Patience is not passive; on the contrary, it is active; it is concentrated strength. – Anonymous
There is one form of hope which is never unwise, and which certainly does not diminish with the increase of knowledge. In that form it changes its name and we call it patience. – Bulwer-Lytton
It is not necessary for all men to be great in action. The greatest and sublimest power is often simple patience. – Bushnell
Patient waiting is often the highest way of doing God’s will. – Collier