Grow in Patience” by Meghan Williams, Dyed4you Art

{vision} I saw a road sign which showed that the speed limit was 55. There was a blurred line through the middle of the 55, and I knew words were printed there.

I saw this vision just before I opened my eyes one morning. I sensed this was a “sign” of the spiritual speed limit for my day. Immediately, I knew the “55” represented a multiplication of grace. I also recognized that the words that I couldn’t read on the sign symbolized a “word” that God had for me through the vision. This word would clarify a repeated message He had been speaking in the Spirit: “Slow down.”

I have heard the words “slow down” at various times each day for months. It usually happens while I’m working or trying to juggle multiple tasks. At other times, I hear it when I’m not necessarily busy doing anything, but I may be busy thinking through many things.

When I hear “slow down,” it always triggers irritation. In my walk with God, I’ve learned that if His words irritate me, it’s because I don’t truly understand their meaning. His heart is always loving towards us, even in correction. And when understanding comes, I always experience a sense of peace. Therefore, I know that irritating words signify the Father’s desire to address an area of wounding within my heart.

I admit that hearing “slow down” when I was approaching a work deadline or needed to make a quick life decision only added more stress onto my plate! So why would God tell me to “slow down” when I needed to move as fast as possible? With time, I began to see that God wasn’t trying to micromanage my day; He was addressing the attitude of my heart at the moment.

Every time He says “slow down” to me, hidden beliefs of shame, guilt, and fear are swirling in the back of my mind. As a recovering perfectionist, I often struggle to feel like anything I do is good enough. When my self-criticism is left unchecked, it can devolve into harsh judgment about my life and the person I am. Believing these lies drive me to strive in the flesh. In a sense, I don’t feel like I am moving fast enough in life to accomplish the things God has called me to do. This behavior always leaves me feeling miserable, unloved, and unappreciated.

The only antidote to striving is to slow down, take critical thoughts of the flesh captive, and then rest in the grace that God extends to us through Christ. We can make ourselves miserable if we’re not careful to align our thoughts with God’s thoughts. In particular, our expectations and standards must align with God’s, for His way is the way of love and righteousness.

When I choose to realign my thoughts with God, I can see my life through His eyes. I remember that my value isn’t in the things that I can or cannot accomplish; my intrinsic value lies in the fact that I am a child of God. This doesn’t mean that our calling or purpose in life is meaningless. We simply must be careful not to make an idol out of it.

If anything, God is always at my side to help me in my weakness. I don’t have to do all He has called me to do in my own strength, and I don’t have to get it all perfect. I can move along the road of life at the speed of grace. When I choose to abide by the law of grace, I notice that I am supernaturally empowered throughout my days. I actually get more done through God’s strength than I can on my own! Even more, gratitude and joy arise from my inner being because I can truly enjoy every moment life offers—even the busiest ones.

2 Corinthians 12:9 (TPT) But he answered me, “My grace is always more than enough for you, and my power finds its full expression through your weakness.” So I will celebrate my weaknesses, for when I’m weak I sense more deeply the mighty power of Christ living in me.