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Persistent Patience

Listen here, mortal: God has already made abundantly clear what “good” is, and what YHWH needs from you: simply do justice, love kindness, and humbly walk with your God. ~ Micah 6:8

Have you ever watched an egret or heron fish? If so, you likely either noticed the lightning strike that speared the prey, or you didn’t know that the bird was even fishing. When one of these waders is hunting you would be forgiven for thinking it was resting, or possibly not even a living bird since they hold so still. They don’t rely on camouflage, so rather than blending in, they attempt to appear as an inanimate part of the surroundings. Their strategy is to seek large catches rather than multiple, smaller ones, meaning they can afford to wait.

Like any angler will tell you, along with patience, persistence is required, waiting does not limit us to inaction, in fact the opposite. It takes effort to stick with a plan until it pays off. It is tempting to switch approaches even when history teaches that you are on the right track and will succeed, if only eventually. On the other hand, waiting for a lucky catch without tending to the details of the work is not a winning strategy. The big catch may be on the way, but we shouldn’t expect miraculous intervention if we fail to bait the hook. We certainly have our part to play in the divine plan.

Micah prophesied a coming messiah. Whether he was speaking of waiting a couple of decades for King Hezekiah or a few centuries for Jesus, patience would certainly be required. Note that he didn’t encourage doing nothing in the mean time. Just the opposite, in the most famous passage from the book, we find instructions for our part of unfolding plan: walk humbly, do justice, and love mercy. Perhaps it is through those very efforts that we discover the salvation we are waiting for.

Prayer: Persistent Love, grant us patience and wisdom to seek and find the savior you promise. Amen.


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