We’ve all heard the saying “patience is a virtue”. I can repeat that saying over and over but when I think of all the things I wait for, like when will the basement be finished, when will orders from work come in, when will our home business take off, when will my kids learn to flush the toilet? It’s easy to be patient when things are going our way or when we know that patience is required of us. But true patience is tested in the midst of our irritations or spontaneous testings and that’s where we need a little, or a lot, of extra help.
Most people consider patience as passively waiting, but the Greek words used to define patience are very active words. Forbearance is being patient self-controlled, restraint and tolerant. The synonyms make it even more clear – endurance and long-suffering. The fruit of the Spirit – Patience – is endurance through discomfort with hope and compassion.
Here I thought I was forgotten when the Holy Spirit dealt out patience, but really He’s trying to hand it to me, but I keep refusing to use it.
I love the verse Galatians 5:22-23. It lists the fruits of the Spirit, and say it to myself often because I want to live and breath them. Thinking that if I keep saying it, they will become more of who I am, but these gifts don’t get given to us like gifts on Christmas, they are within us always through the power of the Holy Spirit and through our trust in God’s plan we will be able to use them.
Running the Race
Have you ever done a running event? Triathlons were my thing for many years, the pain and joy that come for these events where a very undecided love/hate thing, especially the excruciating pain that happens when you go from biking to running. It would probably only take 2-4 minutes for the pain to fade and my running legs to develop, but that 2-4 minutes feels like 3 hours. I’d be so impatient in that moment, but I’d keep going, I’d endure the pain with the hope of doing well in the race or finishing the race with a good time. It’s incredible the growth that happens to your soul when you push through something painful and find yourself on the other side of your pain with your arms up in celebration.
Patience is much like overcoming the pain from biking legs to running legs. We can’t quick when it get’s tough or we’ll never see and feel the overwhelming joy that’s at the end of the pain. We need to accepting that the testing of our patience is strengthening us, refining and perfecting us. Our patience reveals our faith in God’s timing, omnipotence and love. Living life as a Christian means running the race with patience – endurance.
We are a witness to God by how we deal with trials and frustrations, and if we claim to be Christians – do we show people that life truly is better when God than without?
Run the race, be actively engaged in utilizing the gift of patience in your life. Don’t sit back letting nonbelievers point at us and say “see, your Christian life is no better than my godless life” It means we run and keep running trusting completely that God’s plan is in motion so that others can see the power of our faith because of our trust in God.
Endure with the hope of finishing the race and being on the other side- Heaven – with our arms up in celebration knowing we pushed through.
P.S. You’re not running this race alone! God is with you, if you don’t think so – let’s talk!