Cultivating Patience

I sat staring at the clock on the doctor’s office wall. The minute hand moved with a reliable tick, as its smaller brother drudged in slow circles around the clockface. With every tick, pressure built. My feet, acting as a relief valve, patted the floor. What was taking so long? My stomach growled, reminding me my breakfast was a distant memory. Shifting in my seat, I harrumphed and looked to my wife in dissatisfaction.

It wasn’t her fault the appointment was running late, but I wanted validation for my feelings. Her patience—although much thicker than mine—was wearing thin, too. The doctor was running over two hours behind schedule with no explanation. Why haven’t they let us know something?

Even though I’ve heard good things come to those who wait, I don’t find much comfort in the thought during the heat of the moment.

I’m not good at waiting. Even though I’ve heard good things come to those who wait, I don’t find much comfort in the thought during the heat of the moment. Patience is a struggle for me. And I think if most people were honest, they too, have patience issues.

However, God is working on me. Often, when I feel my face flush and feet pace, I sense the Holy Spirit prompting me to yield to Him. Kevin, use this as an opportunity to grow in grace and godliness. I’ve learned patience is not a virtue I can muster in my strength. It is a fruit God’s Spirit cultivates in us (see Gal 5:22). When the temptation to grow impatient presents itself, instead of sighing, I try to take a clearing breath and ask the Holy Spirit for help. I’m a work in progress, but I’m still growing.

I’ve learned patience is not a virtue I can muster in my strength.

I wish I could say my extended stay at the doctor’s office increased my godliness, but I’m not sure it had its full effect. Why? Because I failed to remind myself that God uses things like this to grow us in our patience. How much peace did I give up by allowing tension in? What good did the tension do? These are the questions that I face as I examine the events of the day. However, I ask another question too. How can I learn from this mistake to grow in grace and godliness for tomorrow?

Have you ever struggled with patience? Looking back, how could you have invited God in the struggle? I’d like to hear about it in the comment section. And please remember, there is no judgment here. God is still cultivating the fruit of patience in all of us.

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