Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hmm Patience.. What's that?

Galatians 5:22-23 "But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives; love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!"

Patience gives forbearance toward other people and endurance under unfavorable circumstances.

God is patient with us. He is forever patient with this stubborn girl. I must be honest and say, "I struggle with patience." I often think I have patience, and I do until I need it! I seem to have patience with things that do not matter, but in those things that are important to me? Well, that is my struggle.

Why is patience so hard? One word. Selfishness. Plain and simple. When I am not patient with others it is because I am just thinking of my self. My needs. My wants.

Sitting in traffic. Why does this seem to bother us? We seem to think we are more important than the one sitting in front of us, and the place we must get to is far more of an urgency than the woman behind us on our bumper.

Sitting anywhere is hard. Standing in line is difficult when we are in a hurry to move on down that to-do list. Waiting just adds time to our day that doesn't have enough time. Can I just put it out there? I hate waiting. I text someone. I must wait on them. I call someone. I must wait yet again. This week I made a call to a local Internet service and instead of hearing someone pick up I was speaking to a computer with a creepy, calm voice. I spoke to this computer, until I tired of hearing it say, "I cannot understand your command." So, I then figured out, to move onto talking to a person, I could just speak really fast or very very slow and they would put me through!! See, I struggle with patience. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. My mom always said, "A watch pot never boils." When I was a kid I didn't understand, but wow, do I ever now.

Ephesians 4:2 "Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love."

I think of Job. Now there was a man with patience. He endured. He overcame. He waited on God no matter how bad things got. He believed! Look at Paul. Beaten. Imprisoned. Paul went through everything unimaginable. He knew there was more to life than himself. He knew in everything God had a purpose. In waiting is where we see the Lord move on our behalf. Moses, Abraham, and wow, Noah! The list is endless of those who learned to carry patience. They had wisdom to understand with patience comes faith. With faith we have patience.

Through my mom's illness the Lord is teaching me patience. I need more patience. I just want her well now. In her confusion I have not always been patient. Sometimes I have been short. I just expect her to understand and she just isn't able at times. When I must continue to explain something over and over again I can see my lack of patience is not helping the situation, but adding more stress and confusion. It's like my patience has gone out the back door and escaped. I struggle, but this slow, stubborn girl is learning. I must remember how patient the Lord is with me. I imagine He has thought, "Daughter why can't you understand my will for you? Why can't you understand simple instruction? Didn't I just show you that? How much more are you going to continue to ask for until you are content?" In my slowness to learn and my quickness to sin, He is forever teaching me patience. He takes me by the hand and leads me with His grace.

Romans 9:22-23 "In the same way, even though God has the right to show His anger and His power, He is very patient with those on whom His anger falls, who are destined for destruction. He does this to make the riches of His glory shine even brighter on those to whom He shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory."

Lord, help me to be patient, showing Your love to others. Help me to place others first and know that I am no more important than another. Help me to learn patience as You are guiding me through this life of uncertainty. May I trust in Your timing. In patience You are giving me strength to learn to overcome and endure. Increase my patience, Lord. Wash me with Your mercy.
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