There is the little girl that prays for patience and tells God to hurry up and give it to her! I have been that little girl. Have you? Patience seems to be one of the fruits of the Spirit that is just out of reach. Even when we begin to see the fruit of patience in one area or another, there seems to be other areas where we have no patience – with a particular person or a particular situation. But, once again, we see patience as a fruit that grows from deep roots and Sonshine! “So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience…” (Colossians 1:10-11).
Notice that patience is linked with steadfastness in this verse. When we set our eyes on a goal and work diligently and with focus on that goal, not allowing anything to get in our way or draw us aside, then we are steadfast. In that steadfastness comes patience. Think about a college student. Only those who keep their eyes on the goal of graduation will make it. They know that it will take four years of single-focused perseverance to attain that goal. They are patient because they know what is involved and that eventually they will get there if they are steadfast.
As Christians, we too, can know our goals of maturity and closeness with Christ, keep our eyes on Jesus, and move towards the end in confidence that we can obtain it. We have an advantage though! Look again at Colossians. We are strengthened with all power to reach our goal! The Holy Spirit, the word of God, fellowship with other believers, and the presence of God will give us the power to keep moving towards our goal to achieve it!
Patience can be yours! When I was a young mom and struggling not to yell at my kids, I would pray, “God, take this anger from me.” I tried memorizing verses, but it wasn’t until God told me that I was praying amiss, that I finally overcame this sin. He said that instead of praying that He would take the anger away, that I should be praying, “God fill me up with so much of You that there is no room for anger.” As I began to get more serious about being with Him through prayer continuously, the yelling became more and more rare until I no longer yelled. It is the same way with patience. Fill up with God, and know that He is sovereign over all, and that He will work all things for our good in the end, and trust in Him. He will give you patience even with the most irritating person or situation in your life!
Hint of the Day: Kids have a hard time being patient because they don’t really understand time. If they are looking forward to an event – a birthday, a return of a parent who has been gone for a time, a visit from a relative, or the start of school, you can help them by giving them a way to mark the time. A basket with as many stones in it as hours in the day, or days until the expected event will help. At the top of each hour or the start of each day, remove a stone. They will see that as the stones disappear, the time is getting closer. One dad was away often on business trips. He would buy little token gifts, wrap them, and put them in the basket. The child could open one a day until the last one. When that one was opened he knew dad was coming home that day!
Hannah waited patiently for nine months to hold her baby brother, Ryan. (Grandbabies!) I wait patiently to get to see them, but it’s hard.