Path of Patience
We are generally impatient beings, right? We find it a challenge to enjoy the ride, the lessons learned, and the pit spots. We often believe these to be steps backward, mishaps, or a waste of time. We want to grab the reins and drive the situation. Life doesn’t work like that, though. The more we try to take control, the more our pride grows, our faith weakens, and we end up on a road to destruction, even if we think it’s our path to success.
Patience has a reputation of being unattainable, so we scoff or chuckle, and continue on our own (un)merry, impatient way. We write off patience as something for the more religious, more spiritual, or more naturally laid-back folks. But what if we could really cultivate patience? What if we could actually bear this fruit of the Spirit?
| I waited patiently for the Lord’s help; then He listened to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1
Last year, I felt like I was in the middle of my own personal patience boot camp. My house up for sale, husband between jobs, both cars were in need of costly repairs. Patience? Yes. Patience because I was done with anxiety and stress. Patience because I wanted to be joyful rather than fearful. Patience because I had a longstanding faith that persevered through too many obstacles to quit now. Patience because my God (your God, too) is perfectly good and faithful and mighty to do all things. Sometimes, we just have to put our faith into practice. Sometimes, we just have to let go of the fear, guilt, and pride. What good is our faith if when the going actually gets tough, we bail, we scramble, and we take up with doubt and fear? It is patience that empowers you to keep trusting in the Lord.
1. Surrender to God’s will and accept His control
2. Decide that this is a fruit finally worth practicing
3. Trust His goodness
4. Pray to release your fears and worries and to declare your desire to be patient
5. Know the situations that make you impatient and be on guard
6. Adopt the perspective that patience is a channel through which we serve and love others
7. Recognize that your time is not yours; be open to making adjustments, as needed
8. Stay grounded in hope through His Spirit
9. Meditate on verses about patience and God’s goodness
10. Hit the pause button and take captive your thoughts
11. Take one prayerful step at a time
12. When you get impatient, don't give up, keep practicing
Patience is all about being quick to listen, slow to anger, not having a short fuse. Patience is not assuming the worst, it is about giving the benefit of the doubt, and being kind to your spouse, children, and others. It surely is about being generous (not rigid) with your time, it is about being a kind driver on the road, and much more. But what we sometimes forget is that at its root, patience is also about putting your trust and hope in the Lord, so you can live your days marked by godly patience, and all the abundance that comes with that.
I love this bold acclamation from the Apostle Paul in the letter to the Colossians (read it out loud and believe it with all your heart): "You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for His own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12). Amen!
We are God's children and He has a different way for us. Ultimately, we have a choice to follow that way (living patiently), or try to take the wheel and do it our own way. Patience serves as a beautiful foundation that keeps us hopeful, joyful, and at peace. Doesn’t that sound so much better than the alternative? Patience is right up there with love, joy, peace, goodness, kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-discipline. If we can bear those fruit, then we can certainly bear the fruit of patience, as well. With God ALL things are possible.
Author: Pamela Palmer