Everybody needs it. Most of us are not very good at it. I told people for years that I prayed for it and God gave me three kids. On the kids’ CD “Rappin’ Rabbits Christian Habits” is found the sentiment that he wants it, instantly.
Oh, if it were only so easy and instantaneous. It, of course is patience. Since launching our Life Group last month and starting the study of Arron Chambers’ book, “Devoted” (if you have not read this book, I have only one question of you: “why not?”), God has me wrestling like never before with the need for me to exhibit patience.
Dictionary.com defines the word patience as:
1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation,annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper,irritation, or the like.
2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience.
With this three-part definition in mind, lets examine what it means to have patience.
1. Having patience means bearing without complaining.
Yikes! I fail at this one on a regular basis. I far too often catch myself sounding like the “Whiners” of ancient Saturday Night Life fame. I am praying daily for God to help me stop whining. I am asking God to soften my heart towards the sources of provocation, annoyance,misfortune, and pain. I can’t change others, but I can ask God to change me.
2. Having patience means you suppress restlessness and annoyance.
Suppressing restlessness or annoyance? See #1 above. This is a serious daily battle for me. Psalm 46:10 says, “be still and I know that I am God.” Being still is not in my nature. As I further submit to God in my daily journey with Christ, I am working on doing a better job in this regard. I am grateful for God’s patience with me.
3. Having patience means having a quiet steady perseverance.
I am diligently working out the desire to be quiet and steady in my perseverance. Among the readings from the One Year Bible this past week:
Proverb 25:15“Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones.”
To which I responded…Exactly the word I needed to hear today, O Lord. Thank You!
2 Thessalonians 3:5“May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ.”
And I journaled…I need my heart filled this way, Lord. Thank You for being so patient with me.
I am begging God for patience, and He is giving me opportunity to display patience. May all I do bring Him glory and honor. He is oh so patient with me. How could I possibly be anything less to those around me?
So, what have you done/are you doing to learn to be a more patient person? Any tricks you could share would be greatly appreciated!