The Slowness of Grace

southwest-trip-054.jpg

From Prayer by the Elder Sophrony

At times prayer seems over-slow in bringing results, and life is so short. Instinctively we cry, “Make haste unto me.” But He does not always respond at once. Like fruit on a tree , our soul is left to scorch in the sun, to endure the cold wind, the scorching wind, to die of thirst or be drowned in the rain. but if we do not let go of the hem of His garment, all will end well.

 We live in a culture of fast food, and tend to want grace to operate on the same speed track. Some versions of Christianity make grace as “quick” as walking the aisle. This, of course, is misleading.

In my experience, grace works on a level that is proper to human beings with some notable exceptions (but even then one can wonder). Grace takes time because we are not built on a fast track. Human beings don’t wean until about 2 1/2 years, properly (women you may correct me). We take 9 months of gestation, and we do not reach puberty for 13 years, traditionally. We are not instant people.

Neither does grace work on such an instant level (or is not at least noticeable on such an instant level). We should know that to be a human requires years for some things, including things pertaining to God.

I am comforted, that, unlike physicists, theologians do not reach their best work until near retirement age. I’m waiting for my maturity!

But each of us would do well to slow down our expections and speed up our efforts of prayer. Pray more, but wait on God. This lesson of patience is not something God does to us to torture us, but is something He does to bring us back into line with our humanity. Let patience have her perfect work (James 1:4).

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present and the Glory to God podcast series.



Posted

in

by

Comments

One response to “The Slowness of Grace”

  1. Athanasia Avatar

    And to think, for 25 years I thought that the “slowness” was because I was being punished by God for lack of faith and being a bad person. This is a fresh breeze! Thank you again!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Subscribe to blog via email

Support the work

Your generous support for Glory to God for All Things will help maintain and expand the work of Fr. Stephen. This ministry continues to grow and your help is important. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!


Latest Comments

  1. I have often found people who take a fancy or stringent approach to the Scriptures, the Divine Liturgy and a…

  2. Carlos wrote: I was going through my prayers last night, and one that usually troubles me appeared completely different. It…

  3. I want to thank all those who have prayed on my behalf concerning these matters. I was going through my…

  4. Janine, You write: “How do you know God is not looking at you the same way you see your son?”…

  5. Amen! Thank you, Fr. Stephen, for these encouraging words.


Read my books

Everywhere Present by Stephen Freeman

Listen to my podcast



Categories


Archives