Day 5

Patience

from the The Fruit of the Spirit reading plan


Isaiah 30:18-26, Ecclesiastes 7:8-9, 1 Thessalonians 5:14-15, James 5:7, 2 Peter 3:1-13

BY Melanie Rainer

My youngest daughter turns three next month. She is at the delightfully frustrating age where she wants to do far more than she is physically or emotionally able to do, and usually, that means I spend a lot of time waiting for her to “do it all by my OWN!” (Her adorable way of saying “myself.”) 

We love to go on walks as a family in the evenings. My eldest flies down the sidewalk on her bike with training wheels, but my youngest isn’t very speedy. Nor does she try particularly hard to go fast on her scooter or her balance bike. More often that not, my husband and I trade off for the very arduous, slow task of pushing her, drenched with summer sweat, watching the other spouse laughing and jogging in the distance. No manner of coaxing, teaching, encouraging, or letting her go on hills will motivate her to do it herself. So a few weeks ago, I bought her a tricycle. I thought, Surely this will solve our nightly struggle! But dear reader, it did not. Now we just take turns pushing her princess-adorned tricycle up and down the hill.

There is no fast track for learning to ride a bike, but boy, has it ever tested my patience almost every night this past summer, along with nearly everything else about this almost-comically-catastrophic year. My patience ran out on day two of quarantine, and that was over eight months ago. Have we ever, collectively, felt so impatient, so restless, so tired of non-progress? I’m impatient for the past and the future at the same time. I reason, If we can’t go back to where we were, maybe we could at least hurry up and get to where we’re going! 

This, my friends, is the same tension we feel spiritually. Our impatience for all things to be made new through the restoring, perfecting power of Jesus lingers every day. We long for it to be here soon—Maranatha! Come, Lord! The prophet describes this very longing, set in the hearts of all who believe (Isaiah 30:18–26). And yet, there is a difference between patience from the Spirit (waiting for God’s kingdom to reign forever!) and sinful impatience. 

Sinful impatience says, “I know what’s right and exactly what I need, and I’m mad I’m not getting it right now.” Patience says, “I trust the Lord and His promises.” Scripture leads us to the same conclusion: a proud spirit is bound up in impatience (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Patience is grown from trust in the Lord and His timing, convinced He knows what we really need, in every realm and facet of our lives. 

I believe my daughter will learn to ride a bike. I believe Jesus will return. There are a lot of things I believe I need or want to be happy, but ultimately, my attitude is more often than not one of prideful impatience. It’s impatience born out of my desire to be in control. What the Holy Spirit provides through ongoing sanctification is true patience. I trust Him with my eternity; I need to better trust Him with each day. 

Post Comments (48)

48 thoughts on "Patience"

  1. Brandy Deruso says:

    I will rest in the peace of god!

  2. Michelle Royce says:

    Patience. I will wait for God to work his will for my life… my life was upturned this year with being let go from my job in May 2020. I was proud of my job. Maybe too much. I am trying to root the pride out and am using this time to remake myself. God is working on me and I just need to listen, obey, and have patience.

  3. Bee Feltner says:

    I needed this.

  4. Jen Brewer says:

    Thank you, sweet sisters. Lifted up these prayer requests and so blessed by all of your thoughts and encouragement. ❤️ I appreciated the podcast this week reminding me that the best way for the fruit of the Spirit to grow in my life is to stay more connected to the Vine (Jesus) since He is the one who grows the fruit in is by His Spirit that lives within us. Abide more with Jesus and more of this fruit will manifest rather than hustling to make the fruit appear in my own strength/flesh. Also very much can see my own prideful impatience being rooted in ingratitude, fear, anger and a desire to control my circumstances. Thank you God for being gracious and patient with me. May I trust You more each day and thereby grow in godly patience, resting on Your promises.

  5. Rachael Hastings says:

    Me too. Amen.

  6. MARTHA HIX says:

    Thank you Maura for your prayers. I was fixing to leave to go to the dentist and saw your comment and was so grateful for the peace that it gave me that you were praying ❤️

  7. Laurie Crary says:

    Churchmouse, the Lord has gifted you with unique wisdom. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Morgan Whyte says:

    Thank you – I will be praying for you, too!

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