There are lessons I have never wanted to learn. I know these are characteristics but I would have liked to have inherited them rather than learned them. Some of these are trust, patience and perseverance.
It isn't that I want to pass on these traits. It is just that I would like to receive them in another way. I would rather watch my neighbor learn these from experience. I would love to think that I could get as much out of them vicariously as I would with personal experience. Yet, while I do admire my neighbor's learning, I have found that I never truly learn traits of character without personal experience. Thus, I am due to have my faith tested, my patience tested and my continuance in doing God's will tested.
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Was Joseph ever tested? Was Moses ever tested? Was Joshua ever tested? Is this not the pattern for all the saints? Why should I expect to learn without personal testing if God has been testing His servants from the beginning?
The Scripture says that He would began a good work in you will complete it by the day of Jesus. God is certainly in the completion business.
Now, here is the strange thing: I don't like being tested and learning character traits that God wants to place in me. Yet, after they are completed, I wouldn't trade anything for them. I treasure these experiences once they are over.
The experiences come and go but God keeps working on me. I think I am patient and He takes me through another trying experience. I think I trust Him and He takes away all my other supports. I learn, I praise Him and He brings me into a new experience, often concerning the same character trait I thought I had just learned. I cannot see the flaws that remain behind. God continues to clean up the mess.
I praise God, not because I have arrived, but because I am not what I was. He is making me into something I would never have achieved on my own. Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet.