This time of year it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of exams, Christmas shopping and just life in general while preparing for the new year ahead. In my opinion that makes practicing patience that much harder.
I pray for
But because time is flying
Out of aggravation
I threw my watch out the office window
Ran down the stairs to the elevator
Pressed the down button
And kept pressing
Subconsciously thinking it would make the elevator come faster
Then I bumped into someone coming out
But couldn’t stop to apologize
It wasn’t til I got hit by the car
Running across the street
That I realized
Patience probably has something to do with slowing down.
We live in a time where technology is daily advancing and our society thrives on being fast-paced and yet patience requires slowing down and actually taking time to wait. The Bible tells us that by their fruit you will know them (Matthew 7:20)and Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is one fruit that I am lacking in and that I desire to produce more of.
When we pray for patience God doesn’t snap his fingers and *ta-da* you are instantly a more patient person, no when your pray for more patience God sends you more opportunities to practice patience.
There are certainly different degrees of patience. Upon closer examination of your own life you may realize that you can be extremely patient with children while you have zero patience with adults. I’m guilty of that. I don’t like waiting on people, especially when it comes to waiting on someone to pick me up or waiting on someone who has asked me to pick me up. I also have no patience when it comes to people driving badly on the road, it irks my nerves and instantly the urge to call the person a moron arises. My lack of patience has also given me the uncanny ability to tune people out which can be problematic for those times when I really need to hear what someone is saying.
Like many of these topics being patient is a command not a suggestion. James 5:7 says “Dear brothers and sisters, Be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains of the fall and spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen.” In Romans 15:5 Paul refers to God as “the God of patience and consolation.” If I am a child of God then I also ought to be patient.
The author of Hebrews makes it plain that we all need patience and that we need it now. In Hebrews 10:36 he says “Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s Will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.” I want the promises of God. I want to daily be in the Will of God and being patient is the only way to ensure that. Ugh. Tough pill to swallow.
There are times when we desire a word from God but because we lack the patience to wait on a word from Him we miss out on what He is trying to communicate to us. Patience has a lot to do with being still. Psalm 4:4 tells us how we can hear from God “1. Stand in awe [of God] and 2. sin not 3. commune [to God] with your own heart upon your bed and 4. Be still.”
Being a Child of God requires patience. There’s no getting around it. Life is not always going to be easy and we need to be patient even when times are tough and we feel spent. Romans 5:3-4 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop patience. And patience develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” When we speak things into existence and/or God has promised us something we still have to be patient. Romans 8:25 says “But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” Yes even faith requires patience.
God is not a compartmentalized God, He is God through and through in every area. We need to follow His example of consistency and be patient in every area of our lives and yes that will take some serious practice. But you know what they say about practice right? Of course you do – Practice makes perfect or in this case practice makes patience!