Patience is a Virtue
In our '40 Days of Prayer' inititiative, we're asked to pray every day for at least three areas where we long to grow in godliness. One of the points that I've begun praying for is more patience. Patience is indeed a virtue.
And so I'm reminded of those verses I've heard so many times before. They rattle through my brain like some oft-repeated mantra. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience…(Gal 5:22). Sound familiar?
How dreadful to let such words rattle through the brain, never making contact, never touching the heart. When read slowly and reflectively these words should challenge us at the very core. There is still much room for growth, still so much room for growth.
Take the fourth virtue, patience. It’s not that I twitch whilst standing in a bank line or that I keep running red lights. No, my problem is far deeper. I find it hard to wait on God. I want everything today. I often don’t think with eternity in mind. Patience, for me, ends up being an outworking of faith. I know God can be trusted. Will I live in that knowledge? Will I be patient when things aren’t going just as I would like them to?
Patience is also a great blessing to others. Paul Goodman writes, ‘Patience is drawing on underlying forces; it is powerfully positive, though to a natural view it looks like just sitting it out. How would I persist against positive eroding forces if I were not drawing on invisible forces? And patience has a positive tonic effect on others; because of the presence of the patient person, they revive and go on, as if he were the gyroscope of the ship providing a stable ground. But the patient person himself does not enjoy it.
Be patient. Trust God. Bless others. Bear fruit.