A common prayer is for more patience. But God doesn’t always give patience, He give opportunities to grow patience. That doesn’t seem to always work. I would rather have patience and then put it to work. The root word comes from Latin and means quality of or in suffering, enduring hardship. Yikes. Who wants that? Nobody. But we all have it. And it seems people lose it all the more quickly these days.
We lose it with our kids. We get frustrated at work. We honk at the car in a nanosecond after the light turns green. Our buttons may be different, but we all have them and they all get pushed at times. We get triggered due to the smallest of things. We have knee jerk reactions to just the mention of a name.
For example, does your blood pressure rise and you won’t hit something if I type the word ‘Trump’ or ‘Hillary’? Then maybe you need to work on grace in your life.
I have a real flaw in my life with me finishing other people’s sentences. They pause in a thought and I will fill the gap. My brain works too fast. They take a breath, and I jump in. They blink, and I’m on to the next conversation. Phone calls … you have about 30 seconds before I’ve lost interest. I shouldn’t, but my patience is far from maturity. I am learning though. It’s selfish of me, and I hate it. But I still do it. Why? Because my patience isn’t perfect.
But I know someone with perfect patience. And if anybody has a reason to not be patient, it is this person. He puts up with rebellion, mockery, and immaturity. He is ignored, rejected, and cheated on. Yet, He stays perfect in His patience. His love is long suffering, and His mercy is as deep as the ocean.
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me as the foremost Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life. (1 Tim 1.16)
He is this way with me … and I need it. And He is this way with you. If you are still around as the New Year rolls in, count yourself blessed as one who has benefitted from His perfect patience. For if I was God, I would’ve zapped me – and you – long ago.
So let me get a bit pragmatic. How can we work on patience?
- Pause, breath, count to ten.
- Respond, don’t react. There is a difference. One is controlled by circumstances, the other keeps self control in spite of the circumstances.
- Look for a silver lining. What can you learn? What good can result from going through the circumstances?
- Find healthy ways to release steam. Exercise – I shadow box to a heavy bag occasionally.
- Take a step back if necessary and if possible. Back off and get a different perspective. Or simply just get away from it. I escape to movies or to the mountains. These two detox me from busyness and from my buttons being pushed.
- And remember who is in charge. It’s God, not you. So trust Him.
So, 2020. It’s here. And may I be more patient in 2020 then I was in 2019. And thank you Lord for your perfect patience when I lose mine.