Practicing Patience

2 Peter 1:5-7 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

Patience is one of those attributes can only be acquired by persistent practice– and for me it’s something I have to practice over, and over, and over again!

Here's what Webster’s dictionary says about patience: “the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness, from a kind of heroic pride, or from a Christian submission to the divine will.”

There are several things about this definition that caught my attention – first, “endurance without murmuring”. I was reminded of yesterdays traffic jam… there I was, fussing and fuming out loud over this "inconvenience". After more minutes than I'd like to admit, I finally "woke up" to the realization that this was yet one more opportunity to practice patience without murmuring.

The next thing that really stood out to me was, “a Christian submission to the divine will.” Think about all the times are we placed in a difficult or “impossible” situation. Maybe you're dealing with a difficult person. Several years ago when my husband's job was eliminated I went to work selling cosmetics in a department store. What I thought would be a dream job for this girly girl, quickly turned into an opportunity to learn how to deal with a VERY difficult counter manager. She hurled insults laced with profanity my way 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. My first reaction was to feel beat down, beat up and down right abused. After the realization that this indeed was a opportunity to submit to my heavenly Father's will, I was able to get on with the work of practicing patience. Not only are these circumstances in our lives an opportunity to grow in patience, to learn to submit to God’s providential will, they are also an opportunity to minister to those "difficult" people. After many months of practice, my boss softened her heart and her language. While the story didn't end with the two of us becoming BFF's, after seven months the Lord did move me out of that job and opened the door for me to practice patience in a different environment.

Friend, is your patience being tested today? Let me encourage you! The Lord is training you toward godliness –- and godliness is moving toward perfect love. Our heavenly Father wants to work this quality into our character now -– for His glory!

Will you share your story of practicing patience with us and the lessons you are learning?


Anonymous Steffie said...

Zoe, I think I'm the most impatient woman on the planet! I don't want much, but when I do, I want it NOW. I've found that impatiently waiting for something else totally robs us of the present. You can waste your whole life waiting impatiently for the next job, or relationship, or trip, or toy-- whatever it is. It takes a lot of work to be right here, right now!

Blogger Cynthia said...

Interesting that this is posted today and I jumped over to read it. The patience that I am needing is waiting on God. You see I was the volunteer coordinator for our women's ministry at my church. I loved every bit of it but I really didn't have staff support. It seemed that my pastor would always go to his wife regarding all things WM. After much heart ache I felt God tell me to resign. I didn't want to but knew it was best. The hard part now is we are still at the same church and many ask why I step down and why the pastor's wife is taking over. I want to support her and even love her as a friend but I struggle with some much. God hasn't directed us to another church home but I feel very out of place especially when she talks about all the support her husband gives her in the ministry. I want to practice patience for God to reveal what He has planned for me but sometimes it is just hard!

Blogger Melanie said...

Patience has never been a huge struggle for me...not like some other issues. We all have SOMEthing. But since losing my 12 yr. old son, Andrew, to brain cancer 12/15/09, I have had to develop a new brand of patience. I want to see him every day but I must wait. Each day is an opportunity to find contentment even in the waiting. For me, it's all about delayed gratification. I can't have him just yet, but one day the reward will far outweigh the waiting.

Blogger Unknown said...

Patience for me is waiting on God. I want to hear God speak to me every day. Maybe He does in other ways than an audible voice, but this is what I try to practice about patience. What do I need to do to hear God spaek to me.

He speaks I am uiet – so I need to be quite and listen.

He speaks to me when I am still- so I need to be still.

He speaks to me when I am ready - so I need to be patient and be ready. Patience to anticipate Him speaking to me.

Blogger Pinkshoelady said...

This post was meant for me to read tonight!
I am trying to lose weight. My husband in trying to encourage me has taken to watching/counting what I eat. This help is unsolicited and I have started to not only get hurt by it but angry. I have talked to him about it but he just does not see how it hurts. He is a good man and his intentions ARE TRULY on the side of wanting to help...that being said, I need patience in dealing with his help. My first reaction is to eat twice more than what he has already seen...this does not hurt him it hurts me. My next reaction is to get angry and telling him where he can take his help! This also hurts me because our relationship is severed. So tonight after reading this I have decided to pray and ask God to help me, be cause my husband IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN A PIECE OF BREAD!
Thank you Zoe!

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