“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
Generally, I consider myself a patient person. But reading about patience, four things come to mind from my own life. Lessons I’ve learned the hard way, or gentle reminders that He truly loves me. Here’s how God was patient with me, and taught me to be the same with others.
Broken Collarbone. Broken Pride.
A year and a half ago, I fractured my collarbone, two weeks before my first trip to Hawaii. The trip I was supposed to go snorkeling, do yoga, hiking and zip lining. And it wasn’t even a good story–I was playing ultimate frisbee at church and tried to tackle three guys at the same time. Folks, don’t try this at home. It didn’t end well.
This injury made me sit still, which I’m absolutely terrible at. Seriously. If I sit down, I fall asleep. As witnessed by every friend who I’ve gone to the movies with. But come on–the air conditioning during the summer? Comfy chair? Byeeee.
It taught me how much I was impatient. If you’ve broken a bone like that, you get me. There’s really nothing you can do except wait for it to heal. And that takes FOREVER. Talk about patience learned the hard way…..
All those mornings not wanting to wake up early to go for a run were replaced with the deepest desire to get my body back in shape. Not for myself any longer but so I could honor it as a vessel with which I was to serve my Creator and my world.
Well That Escalated Quickly
Have you ever taken Meyer’s Briggs? I did. And boy, I’m an ENFP. Emphasis on the F. Feeling is something I am too good at. I get passionate quickly, excited easily, and self-identify as a hopeless romantic. This kind of living is fun, spontaneous and everything opposite of patient.
Those videos on Facebook about what people are doing to bring good to the world? Watching cheesy proposal videos on YouTube? Hearing about new causes and organizations are changing my hometown? Yep. All of those bring tears to my eyes. I get absolutely excited about seeing people do what they love. And in that moment, I want to do it too.
But, people gotta work. With a full time job and other life commitments, relationships, and friendships, that’s just not practical. I am still in the process of learning how to temper these moments of excitement, energy and “feels” with patience to trust that God will open the door if its something I’m supposed to do.
Abide in Him
My mentor was the first one to say this phrase to me, and it has since surfaced in many many conversations. What I love about it is it points to a true resting or patience in dwelling in God and his mercy.
On a bad day, we know how easy it is to say we love him, and maybe even do a few things to prove it. But, abiding? There’s so much more. It is that state of being truly dependent on the one who created you and loves you more than you can imagine.
Love God. Love People. That’s it.
That’s what I hope to do with this blog, and in life. Love Him with the entirety of my being–heart, soul, mind and strength. Not as a checklist of “Did I love him with my heart today? Did I love Him with my soul today?” But did I love Him with all of me today? And the same goes for neighbors. Did I show them love like Jesus did? It’s really that simple. Not saying it’s easy, but it is so simple.
That kind of love requires patience and a heart that abides in God, so we are able to truly love people.
Seek the Shalom of Your City
In Jeremiah 29, God calls the Israelites into Babylonian exile, giving them a promise that it wasn’t going to be a short term deal. I’m confident He does the same for us.
Seeking the welfare (or some Bible translations say shalom) is a reference to embracing the wilderness God has set before us. It is finding peace there. It is loving the people we’re surrounded with now, instead of itching to get out, into a new chapter or season of life, or into a new city or state.
Why don’t we do the same?
I’m back in the city I was born and raised in. Eight years ago, I said “Adios, Fresno, see ya never.” But God, had different plans. I have seen his hand throughout these last years of my life in too many ways to explain here, but that make me SO THANKFUL for his patience with me.
I’d like to say I had that patient, faithful heart throughout, but that would be a lie. It was (and is) a day by day process of learning to trust that He would provide for me, no matter what my circumstances, no matter where my heart was, no matter how I was feeling.
Where do you find patience in this busy, hurried world? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you! 🙂