Category Archives: Patience

Headlights

By Kristen Entwistle

I was driving home late last night, down one of those two lane country roads in Indiana.  Turns out, there’s a lot of those roads, and I’m pretty unfamiliar with them right now.  You see, I just moved here, and I’m still learning my way around.  I don’t know which roads twist and turn or which ones are likely to have horses and buggies on them.  I don’t know which ones have stop signs every half mile, and which ones go on forever.

Most of these roads have a ditch on either side of them and people who drive like maniacs.  Oh, and people who blind you with their high beams.

As I was driving down that two lane road last night, it was a little scary – not being able to see more than a hundred feet in front of you and not knowing what’s up ahead.

It’s kind of like life, isn’t it?  God gives us these glimpses of what He is calling us to do, these rare moments of certainty where we can see a hundred feet in front of us.  But we can’t see what’s coming.  We can’t see that there’s a sharp turn or a stop sign up ahead.  That cancer is going to hit us seemingly out of nowhere or that a close friend is going to die unexpectedly.  But we can’t see the good things too – the new baby, the extra money that just showed up in the budget – all we can see is what God illuminates before us.

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Occasionally we get a glimpse of what’s coming when there’s a house light on, or a gas station.  But not very often.  Most of the time we’re still in the dark, with only our headlights.

Walking in faith isn’t easy, and it’s certainly not without its difficulties.  But we’ve got a God who can see all the twists and turns and stop signs because He built the road.  He knows what lies ahead for us and He guides us through it.

We may end up in the ditch sometimes, or make a wrong turn, but still He shows us the way, one step at a time.

Fifteen Minutes

By Kristen Entwistle

I was a distance swimmer in college.  The 1000 yard and 1650 yard (the mile) races were my favorite.

I think what I loved about it was that for ten or fifteen minutes, no one expected me to do anything but swim. 

Out of the water, every fifteen minutes was full of chaos and expectations and multi-tasking.  I was expected to have an answer for everything – what assignment was due tomorrow for any class, what lab the general chemistry students were doing this week, how my doctors were handling my latest illness, what songs we were singing at church this week, when choir was performing at church, when our next swim meet was, how much time I needed to drop to make the cut for any event…

But for those precious minutes in the water, all I had to do was swim.

Even now, when my life feels overwhelming, and the change is impending, and my to-do list is a mile and a half long, I wish for those fifteen minutes again. 

And I realize that I don’t only want those fifteen minutes – I need them.

I need that time to rest in God and in His promises.  I need that time to recharge, reset, and renew.

It’s not much, but it is enough for today.  Tomorrow, I’ll need it again.  Fifteen minutes.

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When I Don’t Know The Answer

By Kristen Entwistle

I was sitting on a bench outside today, waiting for a friend.  While I was waiting, a man came over to me and asked if I could take a few photos for him.  I was happy to oblige, and after taking the pictures for him, I went to sit back down, and he sat down too.  He looked at me and asked, “I have to ask, are you married?”

Slightly taken aback, I answered, “No, I’m not.”

“Beautiful girl like you, how is it that you’re not married?”

I have a million answers to that question, but I simply answered, “I’m just not.”

If it hasn’t become clear to you yet, this guy was looking for something other than just a polite conversation.  After a few more questions, when he asked me for my phone number, I politely declined and he decided I wasn’t worth his time anymore, walking away.

This guy’s not the first one to ask me why I’m not married.  Nor will he be the last.  Truth is, many of my friends are married, having children, and moving forward with their lives.  Truth is, I haven’t ever had a date for a plus-one at a wedding, and that makes weddings…well, lonely.  Truth is, I haven’t been on a vacation this summer because I don’t want to go somewhere by myself.  Truth is, I’m feeling a little like a seventh wheel in my family right now, and a lot like a failure.

Truth is, I don’t really know the answer to that question.

I can come up with plenty of reasons why I think I’m still single.  Most of them I’ve heard from ex-boyfriends before.  No one wants to deal with your disease.  You’re not pretty enough for someone.  You’re too fat, too needy, too independent, too headstrong.  No one actually thinks you’re worth their time.  You’ve got too much baggage – no one wants that.  You’re not smart enough.  You’re not enough for any guy to care about you.  

But the truth is, although I may have it in my head that what I want is best, God’s will is better.  And right now, His will is not what I expected, but it is where I am.  And as hard as it may be sometimes, I have to find a way to be okay with where God has me right now.

So I pour into those around me, and do my best to be a blessing to them.  And in turn, they have been a blessing to me.

I may not have a good answer to that question, but I do know that God’s not finished with me yet.  His plan is infinitely better than anything I could ever dream.  And whatever that means for the future, I know that He is good, and His love endures forever.

Praying In The Waiting Room

By Kristen Entwistle

When I sit in doctor’s offices, waiting (which is fairly often if you’re me), I tend to people-watch. Most of the time, there’s the mom with two kids who she has to take back with her, even though it’s her appointment. She looks frazzled and a little overwhelmed as they lead her back to the room. There’s the teenager who’s here with her mom, and her mom is trying to micromanage everything she writes on the sheet the receptionist hands her. The daughter gets frustrated (I can do it myself!), and quits talking to her mom, finishing the paperwork with a scowl on her face. There’s the older couple in the corner, with the man nodding off while his wife reads a magazine. The receptionists continue clacking away on their keyboards. Then a man walks in, sits down, a look of fear in his eyes. He’s expecting bad news, it seems. A pregnant woman walks in alone, no ring on her finger. I wonder what has brought her here today – herself or her baby.

I’ve spent a significant portion of my life in doctor’s offices, waiting. Perhaps not so patiently, but waiting nonetheless. And I’ve spent much time watching.

And yet I cannot physically help any of these people.

I cannot take away their diabetes or asthma or pain. But I want to, so badly, to tell them that it doesn’t have to be terrible. That good can come from these ‘bad’ things. I’ve seen it.

But the only way that happens is with God.

And so, as I sit here waiting, I pray for these people – sitting here, waiting with me. I pray that if they don’t know Christ, that someone will come into their path to tell them about the love that He has for them. I pray that if they do know Christ, that they would lean on Him in the tough times and the good times, and that they would be a light to those they come in contact with, even in this office today.

And I pray the same for you, even though you aren’t in this office right now.

I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Ephesians 3:17-19)

Amen.