Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Virtue of Patience

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." -Galatians 5:22, 23

I know I have already written once on the Fruit of the Spirit, but as there is so much to cover in these two verses, I thought I would do so again, especially because I struggle so much in these areas.

Impatient really ought to be my middle name.  I know y'all have heard that expression before; however, I am in earnest.

I am redheaded. Does this mean I have a horrible temper? (...where does that come from anyway?...)  Well, to truly know that you would have to be around me for a few days.  I know my siblings could give you an accurate account of my temperament.  Very accurate.

Now to my point: Patience.  There isn't a day that goes by when I do not get impatient with something or somebody.  An example: Teaching Clara to read.  She has came along a bit since I last wrote of her progress, but she is still going kind of slow.  Perhaps it is my lack of teaching abilities and impatience which is hindering her? ...Probably.  Anyway, I know I shouldn't expect her to start reading perfectly after the first week because learning to read is a long process that takes time and patience.  Yeah.  Tell that to me again?  I'll need it for tomorrow.

Patience is a virtue.  All the gold and silver could not buy it.  It takes time (and patience!) to acquire it.  The most important thing: one cannot have any virtues whatsoever without first having Jesus Christ in their lives.  Not one person could ever display the Fruit of the Spirit in their lives without having Christ first and foremost. (Romans 11:36)

Want a funny example of my impatience? (I dearly hope others have had these moments so I don't feel left out.) 
Once when I was ten years old (well, yes, this has happened more than once..) I was desperately trying to situate my hair in a particular fashion. ( it was a simple hairstyle really.)  I had done it once before and liked it so well that I wanted to try it again.  But this time, however, my hair would. not. fix.

I worked...and struggled...and frowned...took it down...tried again...worked...and struggled...frowned...became angry...grew very impatient...felt like yanking my hair out (which I halfway tried to do) and finally gave up.

Sounds stupid and funny now, but is someone had came along just then, I would have bit their heads off. And if I recall correctly, my "particular fashion" was really a simple bun style, ye it had to be that certain way. (Funny how girls are so picky.)  My problem: I was very impatient.

Perhaps if I had took a deep breath, smiled at my reflection in the mirror, and tried again, I might have succeeded and not have  been so grumpy.  As it was, I gave up in impatience and anger.

Patience has always been a hard struggle of mine.  But then, I struggle in every area of life, so every struggle is a challenge.  I know I'm human and accept that, as we all should (Galatians 6:3), but there are times when my failures overwhelm me.  I cry, complain, become bitter and cold, think I don't deserve God's love and mercy (which I don't), weak, cowardly, a failure, the list could go on and on, until something reminds me...

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places with Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast."  -Ephesians 2:4-9

"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." -Philippians 4:13

"For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth." -Hebrews 12:6

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." -James 4:7

"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." -Galatians 2:16

"Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new." -2 Corinthians 5:17

"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good." -Romans 12:21

"For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but that which I hate, that I do." -Romans 7:15

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." -Romans 8:18

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." -John 8:36

There are so many wonderful promises in the Bible that I cannot even begin to list them all for their numbering.  God is a righteous and loving Father, yet just and firm when need be.  After we are saved by Christ's atoning blood, that is what God sees when He looks upon us.  When we trust in Him, believe, confess our sins, repent, and look to Him as our Savior, our sins will be washed away.  All God sees then is Christ's blood that washed away our sins.  Isn't that wonderful?  Even with all our many failures, He is faithful and just to forgive us.  A better promise we cannot have than that He will never leave us or forsake us.  He is always here, always providing, always protecting, always loving.  Such a magnificent King!

I feel down a lot, but am always lifted up by my Lord.  There is no better place to be than in His arms!  How proud I am to be His child!  His love overwhelms me.  How could the All-powerful One love me, a sinner?  Such love, such mercy, such wonder, in such a King!

Next time your patience runs thin, think of God's patience with you.  Didn't He give everything for us?  We should be able to give our all for Him.  Even in our sin and disobedience, He is always faithful.  He remains patient with us; therefore we can try, through His help, to be a little patient with those around us.

Note to self: Do.Not.Fly.Off.The.Handle.Next.Time.

No comments: