I have been known to say that patience is the fruit of the Spirit at the top of the tree of life and I am too short to reach it. It seems that God is (continually) growing my patience on a daily basis. Do you have trouble being patient? Do drivers who wander from lane to lane or miss the green light test your patience? You’re not alone.
We live in an ATM society. Everything we have or need today is delivered in an instant. We grumble if the Internet is down or it takes too long to load a page or URL. We get frustrated with customers who order everything on the menu or hold up the line in the coffee drive-through lane. Do you see where I’m going? So what do we do about that “P” word (Patience)? We wait for it. Yes, I said it. We “wait” for patience as it grows in us. We can choose to skip the whining and deep sighs as we wait. Or better yet, we ask God to change our perspective. Perhaps that driver’s life is so chaotic that they just can’t focus on the task of driving. Maybe that customer holding up the line is ordering food for their family’s only meal for the day. We learn as we practice patience, that our agenda is not the most important thing in life. We eventually grow in patience and humility.
Some of the most patient people I know have struggled with homelessness. They frequently wait in lines, wait to take a shower, wait to get their needed supplies and wait for the next meal to eat. Yet they are patient. Why? They don’t have a choice. They have learned through practice, to “wait.”
I suspect that patience will be a repeated lesson in my life. My sister told me she was going to get me a bumper sticker that says, “Lord, Grant me patience and I want it right now!” She was teasing me of course, but there is some truth to that statement.
I’m grateful that our Lord is ever patient. I have a long way to go to be more like my Lord in the area of patience. How about you? Are you patient? How is God growing the fruit of patience in your life?