We live on a schedule, with “to do” lists, appointments and demands. Often we start to skim through life not seeing or hearing those around us because the clock is ticking. We lose out on the beauty God has placed around us and moments that could be precious is we were only paying attention. Patience is a treasure; hard to learn, but a valued commodity once attained. Everyday life requires patience: patience with our family, friends, co-workers and with all kinds of people and circumstances that we encounter. Without engaging with those around us, and our situations, we lose out on many blessings. Endurance requires patience. So many things in life are long-term. They require that we wrestle with God as we try to make sense of our situation. A person who is not rooted in God’s Word can easily be blown about in times of trial. It’s possible to cultivate enduring patience as we trust God and acknowledge that there is a purpose in whatever we are going though. Then there is an engaging patience. It seems like an oxymoron, but when we see people suffering we may long for a solution, our heart grieves for what they are going through. In these situations, God often calls us to do what we can. We can’t solve the world’s problems, for that we must have enduring patience, but we can do something. We can engage and make a difference in one life at a time. Allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate patience in you as you take time to engage with the people and situations life brings.

Scripture
Jn 15:8; Ga 5:22-23; Js 1:3-4; 5:7-8, 10-11; Ex 20:8; Ps 46:10-11; Pr 14:29

Verse
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control…. (Gal 5:22-23) My father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples. (Jn 15:8) Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Pr 14:29)

Thought
Patience can’t be bought and it’s not free! God doesn’t “give” us patience in one nice clean download, but he produces it in us as we encounter life. We grow in patience as we surrender to God. We must surrender our time to Him. Ask God to slow you down so that you start seeing and appreciating people and things. Start living in each moment instead of racing to the next. God doesn’t want your life to be filled with anxiety and exhaustion. Just breathe, pause, slow down, be thankful, recharge. Allow God to minister to your spirit by taking a moment to realign. It will keep you attached to God’s heart and produce patience in you. We must surrender our suffering to God. We all have seasons of suffering. For some they are lengthy and incomprehensible. But only by surrendering control to God can patience increase. We can’t control the situation, so why expend so much energy trying, when it only leads to frustration. Giving God control of your suffering brings hope. Trust God’s sovereignty and surrender. We must surrender our Sabbath to God. Your Sabbath may or may not be Sunday, but God’s Word reminds us to keep the Sabbath holy. We need a day to be reminded of God’s love for us, that we are his children. This is for your health, your mind and your soul. Only you can make the Sabbath a priority. Don’t allow our culture’s frenzy to steal the day that God has set aside for you. Patience isn’t fun to cultivate, but it’s sweet when it ripens. It will not only bless your life but will also bless the lives of those around you.

Questions
Do you have a short fuse or long fuse? Do certain people try your patience? How? What’s your most impatient situation (ie traffic, grocery line)? Why? Are you usually on time or more likely to be late to an event or appointment? Does it irritate you when you must wait on someone who is running late? Do you think your time is more valuable than someone else’s? When have you been most proud of your patience? When have you been most ashamed of your impatience? Who is the most patient person you know? Explain.

Response
The next time your countdown to explosion starts…stop the timer. Ask God to help you see the situation clearly, the people lovingly, and make sure you walk away feeling good about your behavior.

Prayer
Dear Heavenly Father, help me cultivate patience through the situations and people that come across my path. Help me to live in each moment with awareness and engagement so that I don’t miss opportunities you bring my way. Help me to consider others more highly than myself. Thank you for your love. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.