One of my favorite every day situations where patience is a choice is at the railroad tracks. Y’all know what I am talking about. You’re in hurry, cruising down the road when you see ahead of you a line of cars waiting for a train to pass on by. This is great amusement for me because all of a sudden you see people backing up, doing u-turns, maneuvering their vehicles every way possible to keep from waiting. I must confess that I used to get frustrated when coming up on these long lines, but then the Lord showed me something.
Why not use this delay as a gift of time?
Now, when I am waiting on the train to pass by, I use the time to jot down my grocery list, call a friend I have been needing to catch up with, read some Scripture, or pray. This has become a welcomed little ritual. I actually welcome the opportunity to have to sit there for a few minutes.
We see the word patience many times in Scripture. It can be understood as a passive form of waiting or it can even mean endurance. But for today’s inspirational thought, it’s important that we understand the meaning of the word patience, as it is used in Galatians 5:22 – the Greek word makrothymia – it means “divinely regulated patience.” It is used by God Himself. Only the Lord produces this true patience.
Ladies, re-read that last line. Only the Lord produces this true patience … for us and through us! This is such good news. In the morning during my prayer time, I ask the Holy Spirit to produce in me, for me and through me what I cannot produce on my own. Among those things is the Fruit of the Spirit. God has graciously made this available to us, it is another benefit of being His child. On our own we can’t produce what we need, but with Him, all things are possible. (Matthew 19:26)
When life is running smoothly, patience doesn’t seem to be an issue. But put a kink in our schedule and patience goes out the door! We must never lose sight that God knows everything. He knows our beginning and He knows our end. And all those days that fall in between, He knows about those too.
So what do we do? How do we become patient? By an act of our own will, we choose to participate through surrender and obedience. We surrender to the Holy Spirit by choosing to obey His prompting to be patient.
Every day we are faced with the choice to be patient.
“God is love” (1 John 4:8) and “love is patient.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) Which simply means that showing patience is one of the most loving things we can do. Showing patience is showing the very nature and love of God.
Patience is a virtue that’s made stronger and purer as it’s developed in and through us. Even though we have all the patience we will ever need, (in the Person of the Holy Spirit), the fruit of patience only ripens as we abide in the Vine. Apart from Him, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Living “patiently” free,
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