I’ve been reading the Bible for a long time now. My particular version of choice has typically been the New International Version (NIV). And in reading this version for most of my adult life, I’ve never come across the word longsuffering. Oh, it’s all over the King James Version (KJV), but not the NIV. Why? My guess is that it just doesn’t sound good. I mean it’s basically saying that you are going to suffer and that your suffering is going to last a long time. Who wants to hear that? Not me. In order to understand the Bible more clearly, I often search for the original text meanings. Even though our Bibles are translated in English, they were not written it in originally (Old Testament in Hebrew; New Testament in Greek). So, I went to my trusty website to find what the word longsuffering meant. I found the following definition: 1) patience, endurance, constancy, steadfastness, perseverance, forbearance, longsuffering, slowness in avenging wrongs After being married about 18 months, my husband and I decided that we wanted to have a child. Once we no longer prevented a baby’s conception, we figured that we’d be pregnant in no time. That was in 1994. Our first son was not born until 1999. Talk about longsuffering. Those years of waiting, negative pregnancy tests, watching my girlfriends having their 1st, 2nd and 3rd children when I could not even get pregnant with one child were excruciating. It was a great desire in my heart to be a mom. Why did God make me wait so long? Better yet, why don’t some women ever get to become a mom? During those arduous years, I didn’t know why I had to wait. However, since his arrival nearly 9 years ago, God has revealed to me over and over again that He is sovereign and I am not. Nuff said. I believe that God developed some character traits in me during that season of life that otherwise might not have been developed. My intimacy with God is deeper than ever because He truly became everything to me. He knew every thought and feeling I had during this painful time. I wasn’t afraid to be real with Him and cast all of the hurts I had onto him. After all, the Bible says in 1 Peter 5 to “cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” I did just that. You can, too. Exercising patience is not a lot of fun. I am fairly certain that I have never heard anyone say, “Man, I am so excited about what God is going to show me and how I’m going to change during this time of waiting. Woo hoo!” No, not so much. But, as I’ve talked with countless people over the years after their seasons of waiting, every single person has said that he/she wouldn’t trade the life lessons learned for the comfortable life they had before. You see, it’s in those days, months and years of waiting where we start to look a lot more like Christ. A good friend of mine wrote one time “His lessons always contain a lasting sweetness when they are properly learned.” King David wrote in Psalm 139, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” It’s quite a bold prayer to take before God. But trust me when I say that He will deliver. He will perform the most successful heart surgery, or even a transplant, that’s ever been accomplished. Trust His steady hand. Are you in a waiting room? What is it that God wants to teach you? Are there areas of your life that God wants to make new?