Patience is a virtue.

 Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A virtue that I don't have.

I have always heard that if you pray for patience that it is not given to you, it is taught, and generally in a hard way. Apparently in most cases you can't just pray for patience and in a few weeks wake up patient. I've heard stories of people who prayed for patience only to wake up with a breathing tube unable to talk and having to depend on other people. Talk about learning patience in its truest form.  These stories of course have always left me slightly unwilling to pray for patience.

I have never been a patient person, and to be honest, I see it being something I will need continual help with for the rest of my life. Thank goodness my God is understanding, and knows this about me. Thank God that He is patient or He would have done away with me a long time ago.

In a fast paced world full of instant gratification it is easy to see how as a whole, we would lack the virtue of patience. In most cases we never truly want for anything, much less need anything we can't get quickly. Walmart is open 24 hours, as are many convenient stores, and even some fast food places. If at midnight you need an orange and a coke you can get that no problem. If things weren't so redly available to us we would be more patient out of necessity, but since that isn't the case, most of us have to work towards being patient.

While reading up on patience, why it is important, and looking for God's word to help guide me. This quote stuck out to me.  

"With eternity on the horizon, time takes on an entirely new significance."

Wow. Right? We get so caught up in THIS life, and trying to feel gratified we often forget that all of our true needs and desires will never be met in this life. It doesn't matter how much money you have or anything else. We are all saved by the Grace of God and we need to treat each other as fellow sinners who are saved. We need to realize that no matter how fast or slow things go here, our real satisfaction comes when we get to spend eternity with God. We have no right to treat our brothers and sisters like we are better because we aren't. 

Patience is something I am working on, and praying for (yikes!) currently. I have a LONG way to go, and I call you all to work on patience this holiday season. When the traffic is crazy with travel, the lines at Walmart are long, and the isles are crowded pray for patience. 

Today at Walmart a lady was standing with her buggy blocking the center isle. I was instantly frustrated and caught myself. I heard her say something to the other woman she was talking to about signing divorce papers. In that moment I realized that if my biggest issue was where her buggy was parked, and her plate was obviously heavy with bigger issues she could use a payer as I stood there.

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, 
   slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15

I don't know if I will ever be 'automatically' patient, but right now I am just proud of the fact that I can catch myself before I act upon my weakness and lash out. If I can continue to do that, then I am happy and I know my God is proud that I am at least trying my hardest. 

So for now I am working on being patient with others, and with God. Yes with God, because I have a tendency to think he needs to work faster and answer me right now. But I know deep down that time is insignificant and I am on God's time. He always answers no matter if its the answer I want to hear or not, and he does it at the perfect time, because it is His time, not mine.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

Until tomorrow. If you're still there.


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