Little to No Patience
Patience hasn’t always been my friend.
As a child I wanted to know what my Christmas presents were long before the opening of gifts took place. I’ll admit I may or may not have secretly peeked when my parents weren’t home. As a teen and young adult I was known to read the end of a book after only a few chapters because I couldn’t wait. And there has been the occasion when I opened my mouth with a response that I wish I had kept to myself. Demonstrating patience has not always easy.
Sometimes Lessons are Learned the Hard Way
I was in my early 30s when I almost let my impatience get the best of me. I was thinking about what my spiritual gifts were and how I should be using my time. So, I prayed to trust God as He would lead me, but truth be told, I decided to lead myself. Then one day I mentioned to a friend about how I wanted to use my gifts and how frustrating it was to wait for a door to open. The next thing I knew, I was in over my head with obligations and commitments that I could have done without, if I had only waited for God’s instructions.
I’ve not always been good at waiting. I realized years ago that I rarely said the ‘P’ word when I prayed. I was afraid of the word. Instead I would ask God to help me be better at waiting on Him. I prayed He would bring peace and calm when it came time for me to make decisions. I remember my maternal grandmother saying to me, “Patience is a virtue and you need to work on that.” Point taken.
Aspiring for Authenticity
Patience is vital to our relationship with Christ. Things don’t always work out the way we want them to, but it is His divine guidance that steers us through the rough patches and keeps us on the road to contentment. The twists and turns aren’t necessarily enjoyable, but the end result will always be filled with His goodness. God doesn’t set out to punish us with all sorts of trials and challenges when we pray for patience. Instead He wants us to recognize that patience is both a gift and a command. It is a virtue to be prayed over and practiced.
Throughout the New Testament the apostle Paul repeatedly commanded Christians to demonstrate patience to each other. We don’t always do this well, but if we aspire to be Christlike then authenticity should be a part of our Christian walk. We should practice genuine patience and respond to others with the same patience that Christ has with us.
Paul went on to say in Ephesians 4:1-3 that we are to, “walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Patience with Contentment Leads to Blessings
Thankfully I realized a long time ago that it was my lack of patience that caused me to miss some sweet blessings from God. Some where along the way I forgot what it meant to be content with great gain [1 Timothy 6:6-12] because I rushed through life of my own volition. My job [our job] is to be still and wait patiently for Him to act. [Psalm 37:7a]
I still struggle with impatience from time to time, but my feet stand firm in trusting the Lord. His Presence reminds me that He is in charge. I may not always understand the sequence of events in a situation, but I know His timing and plans are perfect.
To help you practice authentic patience here’s a complimentary printable of 10 verses to add to your resources.
- What causes you to be impatient?
- How do you handle those times when you find it difficult to wait?
- What are some blessings you have received from waiting?
*This is the third devotional in the Fruit of the Spirit series. If you missed the article on Kindness and Goodness click here.
Dear Lord, thank you for loving us when we are anxious and want to rush the plans you have for us. Help us to be obedient to your commands and help us to seek You each and every time we fall short in the trust department. Father we pray for contentment when we get restless and for the blessings You provide. We love you and thank you for Your abundant grace. Amen.