Monthly Archives: May 2013

Patience

Patience Through Silence

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

Do you get a charge of adrenaline through arguing?

When someone criticizes you, are you defending yourself for days on end, even if only in your own mind?  Do you spend inordinate amounts of energy attempting to prove critics wrong, saying, “I’ll show THEM!”

These thoughts and responses tend to consume a lot of mental, physical and spiritual energy.

It requires abundant patience fruit to step back from an argument or defending ourselves.  And sometimes we are left without a choice-certain issues and attacks can and should be met with a measured yet strong response.  However, as you are thinking about defending yourself or fighting back, make sure that you are not responding out of impatience-wanting to speed a matter to resolution or conclusion.

In other words, don’t be a hothead!

Showing your impatience or frustration weakens you in your relationship with the other person.  Impatience tends to build a wall between you and other people, whereas patience builds a bridge.

Think of the example of Christ before His accusers, which is foreshadowed for us in Isaiah 53:7

“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.”

If you are cultivating the fruit of patience, evaluate whether saying nothing is better than responding out of anger or frustration.  If you can have this demeanor when someone else is upset, you have the power to diffuse an otherwise explosive encounter.  Pray for wisdom to choose the response that demonstrates the most patience for the weakness, turmoil or confusion of another.

A great lady I know has a “go to” response when someone is saying something disagreeable, difficult or critical.  She smiles and says softly, “I understand.”  There is an element of humor in this response because you are not telling the other person exactly what you understand (i.e….they are horribly misguided).  But this response allows you to verbalize that you have heard and processed what they have said.

If you find impatience welling up when dealing with another person or difficult situation, take a moment to pause, pray and reflect and seek to return to patience.

“Return into thy rest, O my soul: for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”

Psalm 116:7

All the Best in 2013!

Julie

Peace Fruit

Patience With Promises

 

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

Maybe over the last few days, you have been concentrating on cultivating the fruit of “patience” in your spirit.   (I hope that you have!)

You’ve prayed, read scripture and been more conscious of your thoughts and responses.

But you are probably not at a point where you feel “perfect and entire” and want for “nothing.” 

Will you continue to cultivate patience even if you can’t detect a difference in your feelings or thoughts? 

You may be like me and experience impatience many times a day.  The cause of your impatience may be something as simple as an interruption during a workday or a traffic light that turns red too soon. 

You have made spiritual progress if you have recognized your impatience, said a quick prayer asking for God’s help and then consciously decided to NOT verbalize your impatience to those around you.

The adage that “misery loves company” is true.  If we complain about having to wait, we most certainly will find people who will validate our complaints and commiserate with us. This doesn’t mean that Christians should accept poor-quality customer service or abuse of their time, but it does mean that we think carefully about our actions when we feel impatience welling up.  This is especially important when the source of our impatience is a loved-one or someone we must work with often.

How many times have you needed a lesson repeated until you “got it?”  How did it impact your learning process if the teacher snapped at you or made you feel dumb? 

How patient has God been with you as He’s taught you?  So many times I have disappointed Him and knowingly done the opposite of what I knew He wanted.  Yet I was not struck down or banished from His presence or told to never come back.  He patiently repeats our lessons.

His teaching methods may intensify if we make the same mistakes over and over, but He never gives up on our ability to do better the next time or withholds the resources necessary for improvement.

Seek to demonstrate to others the patience which God has shown with you!

All the Best in 2013!

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patience

Present Patience

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

If we become fully present in the moment we are living in now, and refrain from preoccupation with future outcomes (which we can’t control) or obsession over the past (which we cannot change), we may find more abundant patience among our spiritual fruit.

That’s kind of a packed statement for a short daily devotional, right?

But, in my own life, if I consider the source of much of my impatience, it stems from frustration or regret over the past.  Fro example, I am impatient with someone who does not seem to learn from the past or is, in my estimation “stuck” there.  I may also feel impatient with someone who does not forgive me or release me from past mistakes.

Another ready source of impatience is waiting for some anticipated “moment.”  It may be a life event like a birth, wedding, holiday or vacation. It has a date on the calendar which cannot advance fast enough for us.  Sometimes there is no set date on the calendar for what we are anticipating.  This can be even more difficult because there is no end in sight, yet we are constantly stretching, looking for it.  We wait for the “light to come on” in someone else’s understanding of us.  We wait for direction for work or life partner.  The non-specific waiting time is a source of discomfort.

How does God want me to live?

He wants me to live in a state of trusting HIM and living my life in the light of that trust.  My trust in HIM fosters patience in all my life circumstances and with people who cross my path.

Stepping out of the “control illusion” is something that has the power to ground me with patience to wait with contentment and understand with love.

Waiting can be preparation time for the receipt of additional or greater blessings than we are anticipating in our minds.  We may be thinking too small.  God may have bigger and better.

Let waiting expand your thinking and comprehension of what God has for you in your life.

All the Best in 2013!

Julie

 

peace

The Release of Patience

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

I’ve said before that many of the fruits of the spirit completely contradict the values of the world.

So it is with patience.

We want “faster” everything.

“Faster food,” “faster money,” “faster education,” “faster internet,” “faster travel,” “faster fixes” to all of our perceived problems.

The patient, slow and deliberate person looks almost freakish by contrast.

Part of patience is the release of control and a letting go of outcomes.

If I have worked as hard as I possibly can, as diligently as I can, and yet an outcome or decision is left to another person, we can patiently wait for the decision.

If we’ve followed our doctor’s instructions for health, we can patiently wait to see if a cancer recurs.

If we have led our children faithfully and diligently, we can patiently wait as they choose a college, profession or mate.

It turns out in many cases that our patience is almost directly equivalent to our trust in God.  The more we trust them, the more patient we can be.

And remember-every believer already has within himself or herself the FRUIT of patience.  Stop telling yourself that you are impatient.  You are impatient only because you have not cultivated and appropriated the fruit of patience.

Also remember that God provides you an unlimited supply of each fruit if you only ask, cultivate and appropriate it.

One day I told my 5 year-old daughter that I was “out of patience.”

She said, “Mommy, you can’t be out of patients, you aren’t a doctor!”

Along with comic relief, this statement reminded me that I am never out of patience.  I just need to dig deep to find it.

So remember to ask, cultivate and appropriate patience!

All the Best in 2013!

Peace Fruit

Perfect Peace While Patiently Waiting

 

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

It’s hard to imagine a truly peaceful person and an impatient person existing in the same soul.  Peace and patience feel so inextricably knit.

But as we move to our second day of focus on patience and its work on us, as it takes root in us, we become conscious of how patience benefits us spiritually and personally. And while many of the fruits of the spirits cannot be easily thought of as disciplines, patience is a little easier to imagine in that way.  We can often “feel” ourselves becoming impatient.  We detect our “fuses” shortening.  We feel our heart race and our blood pressure sore.

If you’ve observed a child who is waiting for Santa or some other great anticipated event, they can find it almost impossible to wait and seem capable of almost perpetual motion during this time.

Trying to explain patience to a child is difficult.  It’s often helpful to simply move them to another activity to pass the time so that it seems to move faster.  The same concept can apply to ourselves.

If we find ourselves growing impatient with a long wait somewhere, for example, always have a book to read, a letter to write, an article to edit or something helpful to listen to downloaded on your phone or other device.  Turn waiting time into meditation time or prayer time.

Additionally, just as difficult encounters with others can sometimes damage our sense of peace if we don’t get some distance and space, similar encounters can try our patience as well and likewise benefit from distance and space. (Even just for a minute or two).

What things most try your patience today?

Is it a long-range goal you feel discouraged about meeting?

Is it a family member who is behaving destructively?

Is it a health issue that seems as if it will never resolve?

Is it debt?

Is it wanting to be married or to have a child?

If you can think of things right now that challenge your patience, take a moment now to offer them to God and ask Him to plant patience deep within your soul, so that you can enjoy peace while patiently waiting.

“…whoso hearkeneth unto me shall dwell safely, shall be quiet from fear of evil.”  Proverbs 1:33.

 

Peace Fruit

From Peace to Patience

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

James 1:4

As we move out of our focus on the peace fruit of the spirit and onto the patience fruit, perhaps you can see that if we have the spirit’s peace, we should naturally be inclined towards more patience.

But do you struggle with impatience?

Do you want patience NOW?

It’s not a delivery pizza or a tweet away.

Patience is practiced and requires an ability to see God’s best at the end of a long and bumpy road.

Patience requires sleepless nights with a sick and restless child.

Patience requires forgiving someone one more time.

Patience requires teaching a lesson that you taught the day before, the week before or a year before until the student grasps it.

Patience involves not giving up on ourselves or God when we fail or fall.

The short verse in James which will anchor our thoughts during this first week or so of focusing on patience is so rich.

As a woman, I love that patience is pictured as a female-her perfect work.

I visualize patience as a gentle mother overseeing her child’s first steps-embracing, guiding and supporting.

I also love that there is such a rich promise attached to patience…that if we give ourselves to learning the lessons of patience, we will be perfected and entire and want for nothing.

I am always attentive when the bible gives us something concrete to do in our lives with a promise attached to it that relates to our present life on earth.  Something that says “if you do this, HERE is what you’ll get.”  And it’s not as crass as expecting material benefit or creature comfort if we are patient, it’s expecting that by being patient we will see that in every moment we already have all we need through GOD and relax into our circumstances as they unfold.

So dig into the fruit of patience for the next 40 days, and if you are presented with a dilemma, crisis or question to answer during this time, ask yourself (and God) if the answer has something to do with patience!

All the Best in 2013!

Julie