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. Angela Sutherland says:

    I needed this today!! I am so thankful for God’s patience with me, especially when I act impatient toward Him! I think I will go do another read through of these scriptures! So thankful for this community!

  2. Jeannie W says:

    That last sentence… “I trust Him with my eternity; I need to better trust Him with each day.” I will repeat that over and over when anxiety, fear start to move in.

  3. H H says:

    @Morgan my husband and I are in the same place, over two years of trying to get pregnant. I’ll add you to my prayers. SRT has been my lifeline for reminding myself to be still and wait, the Lord’s timing is perfect and His will for us is better than anything we could ever dream of.

  4. Sarah H says:

    “Patience is grown from trust in the Lord and His timing; he knows what we need in every facet of life.” I loved this reminder to not get too far ahead of myself, to be present and take one day at a time. To pray each day for my daily bread. Also loved what Churchmouse said about the gains from this season of COVID hopefully being greater than the losses. Praying we all can experience this in some way.

  5. Michelle M says:

    Thank your sharing that verse Ana. I can definitely relate. A verse that comes to mind is God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and self control. 2 Timothy 1-7….I share this bcuz I often find that my fear often turns into anger and then back to peace. It’s a constant cycle I am in. Fear, Anger, Peace over and over again. It’s tiring this is what makes my patience wear thin and longing of the day the Lord will return.

  6. Nhu says:

    Welcome Trish to SRT community. Blessings to you!

  7. Dorothy says:

    This for me is a much needed lesson and devotion. Lately, I have found my patience is what it used to be. Maybe because I can’t get out like I used to, maybe because I’m getting older, or maybe because I have strayed from the Lord or maybe all three. I don’t know about you sisters, but for me patience is one of the hardest fruits of the Spirit with which to follow God.

  8. Nhu says:

    It amazes me how God’s timing appears to be way longer than human’s impatient perception of timing. With the regular human nature, I tend to run ahead of God and then I wear myself out in the process wondering “where are you God?”. Though I think God shows up late, I need to learn that there is the APPOINTED TIME for everything ( a time to mourn, a time to rejoice, a time to rest, a time to build Ecclesiastes 3 ). Though just like us, there are also 2 ladies in the Bible thinking God is late in showing up, that is Martha and Mary -who told Jesus, Master if you had been here 4 days ago, my brother wouldn’t have died (John 11 the death of Lazarus). However, this 4 days late to them in God’s calendar is still “ON TIME”. He is on time waiting our faith to mature, for us to exhaust all the other options, and for us to have nothing else to lean on but Him. This is extremely fascinating and mysterious to me regarding the art of God’s timing. I pray for greater patience to be granted, for the understanding of His timing, so I can totally rest in assurance, while I wait.

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