Making Amazing Strides in the Patience Department
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
Everyone desperately needs patience. Every day we face difficulties that try us and give us opportunity to practice this important virtue. Patience, part of the fruit of the Spirit, doesn’t come naturally. So God, the best teacher ever, often uses a variety of experiences to teach us a lesson in patience and develop in us this godly restraint that emulates and glorifies Him. When faced with a difficulty, whether large or small, we must be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
A Lesson in the Patience Department
Just when I think I’ve made great strides in the patience department, God gives me another situation to try my skill. In the winter of 2019 I endured a huge test when I arrived home to a waterfall, caused by burst pipes, cascading into my kitchen. Somehow I remained calm (on the outside anyway!) and sought to trust that all would be taken care of in time. And sure enough, after months of living in a construction zone, life settled down and I joyfully accepted my unexpected kitchen remodel.
I gladly retired my old worn out appliances for lovely new stainless steel ones. All was well . . . until one year and one month later. That’s when my gleaming range quit for the first time. Of course, this came just after our one-year manufacturer’s warranty expired, so I bit the bullet and paid for the repair myself expecting to laugh at this unfortunate fluke sometime in the future. But about eight months later the same problem occurred. With no help from the merchant or the manufacturer I gritted my teeth and again shelled out more money.
They say the third time is a charm, but this was not to be. On Christmas Eve I heard the ominous clicking of the gas starter and immediately knew we were in for another round. What to do? So once more I paid the repairman, hoping against hope for better results. But no go! This time the fix only lasted for two weeks. We knew it was time to cut bait and buy a new range.
The Lesson in Patience Continues
The lesson in patience continued as we endured frustration after frustration trying to purchase a replacement for this important piece of kitchen equipment. How hard is it to buy a range? But after spending the better part of a Saturday morning shopping at a small business where we were encouraged with individual attention from an enthusiastic salesman, I was informed that we live outside their delivery area. They would not be able to deliver, install, or service. So with no other recourse Dad and I finally made our purchase at a large local department store.
After the delivery people couldn’t install, the orifice that came with the purchase failed, and the old stove removal we paid for didn’t happen, I felt myself on the brink of Mt. Patience, ready to bail! But thankfully we have a God who doesn’t give us more than we can handle. He helped me practice restraint in this maddening situation, and I chose to breathe deeply and leave the outcome in His capable hands.
God Provides Grace Needed to Endure
In the whole scheme of life a malfunctioning range ranks quite small in terms of consequence. There are many other circumstances that require a greater degree of patience and trust. But while patience can be difficult to attain and maintain, God wants to provide the grace needed to endure. He tells us to come boldly to His throne and request all the mercy we need. He will gladly supply.
Patience really is an indispensible character quality for all walks of life. But God, the best teacher ever, determines to develop this virtue in His children using various ways. He, Himself, embodies patience, and we emulate Him when we respond to tough life lessons with restraint.
Growing in Patience
The next time you struggle to remain calm and trustful in the face of a small frustration or a much larger difficulty, look to Him and depend on His resources for what you need to endure. Because whether it’s a faulty range or something much, much bigger, we grow in our capacity for endurance and learn our lesson in patience well by rejoicing in hope, being patient in affliction and faithful in prayer!
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