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 (58)

58 thoughts on "Patience"

  1. Trish says:

    My Name is Trish from Richmond BC Canada.

    Thank you Tina for your thoughts, I am new here enjoying the study, I am newly retired and have been struggling with my time ( what to do) I am also a new Grandma ( Nana), which I am enjoying even with the pandemic restrictions. I do get impatient for prayers not been answered ( my husband to come back to the Lord) but I am trying to be an example of trusting the Lord (not my strong suite )

    Thank you for a lot of the comments as they have been very helpful and inspiring .

    Sister in Chirst.

  2. Terri says:

    Jn 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth give I unto you. LET not your heart be troubled, neither LET it be afraid.
    To have peace is a choice and it is the basis of the other fruit of the Spirit. The choice is on what you believe/think. With what you fill your mind as we are told in Phil 4:8. On what are you dwelling?

  3. Nisha Lowe says:

    Thank you – that was a word I needed to hear today and everyday lately.

  4. Maura says:

    Loved today’s reading. Can’t respond to all, but am Praying for you Martha his peace as you go to the dentist and for the skin cancer to all be removed. Praying for you Morgan and Lauren, that He gives you peace in the waiting for another child asking that your prayers would be answered in His love and timing. Praying for you sweet Audra, So true the fruit of the Spirit brings us to love like Jesus and this is the most important fruit. Thank you Lisa for your words on tTrust, He is faithful, my word this year is Know and in the knowing I can trust Him who is able to do more than I ever ask. And I know He answers my prayers in the best way, His way. Hugs and love Sisters.

  5. Traci Gendron says:

    Tina thank you for your words. As I’m struggling to persevere through my sons illness, your words speak loudly to me. I’m so thankful for all the women in this group. Thankful for SRT. It is the best way to start off my day.

  6. GramsieSue . says:

    I so relate to this, Churchmouse. My eyes have been opened to more of the blessings of my life during this pandemic. And the things that have been lost are not so important anymore. ❤️

  7. Rhonda J. says:

    This really brought back a time in my life, I was newly married with a 1 and 1/2 year old, in a new city so happy, then shocked that my life was suddenly torn apart with the news from my spouse that he didn’t want to be together. Wow, talk about a punch to my ego. It was the first time I felt so broken and not able to make things go how I wanted. But sometimes those are the things that make you hit your knees and “finally” look up and ask for guidance. I had always gone to church, but had never given up myself and control of my life to my savior Jesus! So as I dug in deep and journaled and prayed every day. I knew that it was all going to turn out ok and that I would need to be patient and let God show me in His own time His plans for my life and future, but it would be good if I gave up that control. Patience was hard when you just want your life to be what you thought it should be. So all of you that are going through those hard valleys and wondering when it will all get better…it will!! Practice patience and look to God with your hands turned over to HIM. I suggest journaling those prayers and feelings, you will look back years later and see everything working for your good! For me, it was hard with a young child because you still have to have a working relationship with their father on a daily basis. But God…..you let the anger go away slowly and replace it with Help me Lord, and you get through it.

  8. Pam K says:

    So many great lessons this morning. I loved the reminder in 1 Thessalonians about God’s timing. He is not slow in keeping His promises. Boy, I can wrestle with that one.
    Sometimes what I am impatient for isn’t the best answer. Thankfully, as I get older, I am learning to wait and trust, more than demand my way. We have been in a year of unemployment for my husband. To be honest, it has been surprising in many ways. He has had a strong career and we expected a new job within no time. And here we are a year later. COVID has played a part, but it has still been surprising. He is near retirement but we hoped for 2-3 more years , including insurance. He spent a lot of time doing all the right things, with many leads and I some interviews, but then nothing. A couple of weeks ago I was having a day of feeling impatient with all of this, and then I felt God reminding me to trust Him for what He is doing. He has definitely used this time in many positive ways. My husband isn’t as stressed, and we have had more time together. I am settling into God’s wisdom and provision for us. Some of you know that he also faced a cancer diagnosis this fall. His surgery was a week ago and we got the report yesterday that they got everything! We have much to be grateful for. I am leaning on the Lord for daily bread of late, and less focused on bread for 6 months from now. He isn’t slow in being our provider.

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