Everyone has one of “those” areas. One of those growth areas. For a lot of people (including me – just being honest) it’s patience. It’s a virtue. And it can be elusive. But to be like Him, we need it. Are you patient or just patient’ish?
I consider myself to be a pretty patient person. I don’t usually mind waiting. After all, waiting is a big part of life.
Waiting in line. Waiting for your kids to get done at soccer practice. Waiting for your kids to get done at football practice. Waiting for your kids to get done at band practice.
Waiting for the installation guy who’ll be there between 8 and 12, but that really means 12. I’ve never been the lucky one to get the early installation and get it over with.
Okay, so the more I think about it, the more I realize that I’m just patient’ish. (Just being honest.) This morning, in fact…..enough said.
So I’m patient’ish….especially at the end of summer when I haven’t had a moment alone since the end of the school year.
Especially when I’m in a hurry. And with a husband, 3 busy kids and a busy job, when am I not in a hurry? Sigh!
So, this is an area the Lord has been dealing with me about. Moving from patient’ish to full-on patient.
I love the definition of patient: able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
Yikes. Did I step on anyone’s toes except my own?
Or this definition: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people.
Lord help me!!!
Okay. So I’m a work in progress. Under construction. Still cooking. The installation of the Patient Software is not fully complete.
Sadly, this is not something you just pray for. “Lord, make me patient.” And WHAM! You’re just patient. No work involved at all. That sure would be nice, but it doesn’t work that way.
You can pray for help. You can pray for strength. But you have to CHOOSE to be patient.
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. (James 1:2-4)
I love The Voice translation of this:
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing.
There’s nothing that I want more than to finish the race and hear well done. I’m on my way to mastering some areas. But patience…this is one area that I sing that line from United Hillsong “From the Inside Out” a lot: A thousand times I fail, but Your mercy remains…Thank God!
I have to LET patience work in me. It’s a choice. It takes work. It takes sweat. It’s a process. And even now, 24 years after I started walking with the Lord, I still have times when flesh wins over spirit and I’m impatient.
(Side note: The goal may be perfection, but in reality, you’ll never be perfect. So relax. Allow yourself to be human. Then pick yourself up, dust yourself off and head towards that goal again.)
But I’m not nearly as impatient as when I first started this journey. I was impatient. Now I am patient’ish. My goal is to be patient. All the time. To be more mature. More equipped. More like Him in every way. And He is so very patient, especially with me.
I’m not settling for patient’ish. I’m moving on into full-on patience. Who’s with me?