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Growing up, Patience Required

Patience is something that is learned and must be practiced. I am also learning that I must be patient with myself. I planned to write about friendships this month, but the theme of patience kept presenting itself. So, here I am, pausing, and giving myself grace to shift gears and listen to the Spirit.

I will admit, patience is not something I am great at. I am always in a hurry. I have a one-track mind. I really hate waiting! But I am learning God works in all these spaces and for His purposes.

Interruptions can cause me to lose my patience. In Luke Chapter 5, there is a story about a time Jesus was teaching in a home amongst the Pharisees and teachers of the law. A group of men were bringing their paralyzed friend to Jesus to be healed. Because of the crowd, they couldn’t enter through the door. They decided to go up on the rooftop and lower their friend down through the ceiling to Jesus. They totally interrupted Jesus’ teaching. In this story, Jesus could have been frustrated by the interruption. But instead, He commended the friends on their faith! This showed me that even in times of interruption, God may be at work. Interestingly we don’t even know what topic Jesus was teaching about that day. The interruption was the lesson!

Speaking of interruptions, one of the places that most challenges my patience is with my family, especially my siblings. It feels as if they disrupt me so often! My younger siblings know all the ways to bother and pester me. My older brother, I believe, simply enjoys bugging me! Patience with them is not easy. God reminds us in Proverbs 15:18 that “a hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.” This verse challenges me to practice being patient. I try to remember to approach situations calmly. When I feel myself getting angry, I try to simply walk away until I can be calm and use softer words. Honestly, this is a work in progress for me. At times, I find myself letting my anger get the best of me ---resulting in raising my voice and yelling. I must remind myself of how God calls me to act and to be cautious of how I react in challenging situations.

The other place I find myself needing patience is in “the waiting”. Often, as I wait, I become anxious. I can hardly contain myself sometimes. This is a hard one for me! I have taped Scripture to my mirror, as a constant reminder of how God is present in all corners of my life. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”. Such a good reminder for me. I need to talk to Him about what is making me uneasy and anxious. I need to give it to Him and receive His peace in exchange.

I encourage you to do the same. Psalm 40:1 reminds us, “I waited patiently for the Lord; He turned to me and heard my cry.” When you find yourself struggling to be patient, tell God how you are feeling. Ask Him for patience or strength. When your siblings drive you crazy, go to God. Wait on Him. He will provide. Maybe He will change your situation. Maybe He will give you more patience.

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Thanks, Emma. What great insight. Thanks for your vulnerability and sharing wisdom from God's word.

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