Friday, August 24, 2012


I need more patience...and I need it now. 



One of the most important things that I have been learning lately is that everything I need is in Jesus, including patience.  One of the sermons that I heard at Burke camp addressed this. And yes, it was preached by the oft mentioned Nathan Johnson.  What can I say?  The man's passion for Jesus is infectious.  Nathan talked about how we tend to go to God, seeking patience, as if it is some kind of pill that God will prescribe for us.  We pop the pill, and voila!  Patience!  Or maybe it's more like an exercise regime.  We don our neon pink spandex and work our behinds off, and lo and behold, we find ourselves engulfed in waves and waves of glorious patience.  However we see it, it comes as something outside of God, a gift, or a goal to be worked towards. 

But what if patience isn't something to be worked or fought for?   What if our patience comes in the actual form of...wait for it...Jesus?    What if, instead of telling God that I need more patience, I instead ask Him for more of Jesus?  More of His Spirit in me.  What if asking for patience means asking for God to be bigger in my life, while I grow smaller?

1John 4:8 says that God is love.  And 1Corinthians 13:4 says that love is patient.  So when I ask God for more patience, I am really asking Him for more love.  And that translates into more of Him in my heart.  And that is good news.

The thing is that patience is not some solitary virtue that we can apply to life problems like a salve.  It is entwined with all sorts of other good things.  People who are patient are not just patient.  They love.  They pay attention to others.  They put other people's needs above their own.  They know what is important, what is valuable, and have chosen to live their lives according to those truths. 

The father who patiently wipes dirty fingerprints off of the leather sofa in the living room is living out the fact that he believes that the owner of those dirty fingers is infinitely more important that a piece of furniture in his living room.  He is loving, valuing and esteeming the right thing. 

When we are able to patiently wait in a check-out line while the lady in front of us fiddles with the pennies in her change purse, we are not merely being patient.  We are valuing the woman above our timetable.  We are remembering the times when we have needed patience like she does, and are humbled.  We are trusting God to work out our schedules so that, despite the delay, things will work out, or at least it will all be worth it.  We are caring. 

I am encouraged at the thought that God is my patience.  I see many places in my life where He has been patient through me.  And I see hope for the times where I struggle with impatience. 

A few weeks ago, I spent over two hours bathing and picking fleas off of a tiny, exhausted, malnourished kitten.  It is easy, for me, to look at a weak, helpless kitten and to resolve to do whatever is needed in order to restore him to health and comfort.   My patience came from God inside of me, the God that loves and restores the weak, even critters. 

So when I find myself struggling with being impatient with people in my life, I need only ask God to fill me with more of Him, because His love for them is crazy huge and passionate.  His love, in me, makes me patient.  His love for me means that I can trust Him with the plan for my life, and with the timing of the plan.  I can put others first because I have the God of the Universe who is putting me first, taking care of me, seeing to my every need.

If that's not good news, I don't know what is!

Peace out.

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