Patience. The very word can send me into annoyed levels upon hearing the word.
The last thing I have wanted to hear throughout my life while in the midst of a struggle is be PATIENT.
Patience with others, situations or things to come has not been easy for me. To say the least.
Hearing to be patient when not in a place to be patient has been the least motivating thing for me. In fact it only made me more upset.
I didn’t want to be patient! I wanted what I wanted right now and in the very way I envisioned it. So of course I would shut down, turning inwardly and into the spiral of wallowing.
So many times I brought my frustrations to God and still found myself in the same place. It wasn’t until I began to attempt to align my heart with His that things began to change. The more I prayed for His desire over my own ( seriously not easy!) and learning to be thankful for people, experiences and things in my life.
It’s not that my life changed overnight, I just learned how to (ahem) be patient in my circumstances. At times this can be called contentment or even steadfastness as we like to say in Christianese.
Essentially, staying put when what I long to do is run away or solve the situation myself. Which wouldn’t be good. I tend to panic react and end up in a worse situation than I would of been if I simply been (you know what I’m going to say right?) PATIENT .
Slowly and with a lot of bumps in the road, changes in my day to day began to emerge. From how I dealt with people, my circumstances and who God is in all of it. The more my heart aligns with Him, the more I see less of my own desires.
Examining the heart behind my desires had been so humbling. Why do I really want this or that? What do I believe I will get from it that I’m not getting right now?
Believe me when I say that those examinations are tough. I have to go into some deep parts of me to get a small grain of understanding. Even still I’ve come out fighting for my desires over that of God’s.
I’ve had a hard time of being patient with people. Many times I’ve been harsh or short with others because they were the ones bothering me. Often too , my impatience can be a cover for my embarrassment. When being caught off guard, my comfort zone is a place of defense. If I have enough bluster then maybe my lack of knowledge won’t be noticed.
I read through James 5:7-12, where James encourages patience. Not only patience for the things I desire in this life but to have patience for the coming of Jesus. I must give credit for this insight to the ladies in the young adults group I help lead at church.
In the midst of a current hardship and even joy, Jesus is the greatest promise. Beyond anything else, patience waiting upon the Lord. Because the promises of God are far greater than anything I can desire.
It’s ok to wrestle with patience. It’s ok to say you are frustrated but not to stay there. That’s the biggest thing I’ve learned about patience.