Pray for Patience? Are you out of your mind? Patience is the one thing you NEVER pray for, because patience can only be developed under trial, and wow – do those trials ever hurt! I learned that lesson the hard way when I was in junior high. I didn’t have to learn that one twice, I never prayed for patience again!
I place a high value on PEACE. I have found that if I am impatient, I am not peaceful; rather I am angry, agitated, upset and out of sorts. The more I study peace, the more peace I have in my life, the more I CRAVE peace. And so I find myself 25 years later, sincerely praying for patience, because I know that patience will bring more PEACE into my life.
But this time, I knew to brace myself for what was to come. I knew it would be painful, and I knew it would not be quick.
Patience Test #1: I was at a meeting. The software developer proceeded to go through a spreadsheet, column by column, “in this field you put the street address”, and “in this field the phone number that you want the customers to call” she would then spend five minutes expanding on each field…my attempts to speed her up were to no avail. Inside I was DYING! I knew I was FAILING the test, and that it was MY fault, because if I had not prayed for patience this would not be happening. I was taping my feet, rolling my eyes, grimacing at every dumb word she said (she was on conference phone).
Patience test #1: Fail on all accounts.
Patience Test #2: A certain member of my family is ALWAYS late. I told him we were leaving at 12:00; we left at 2:00. I thought about yelling to hurry up, but decided that would just cause a fight, and so I kept my mouth shut, but inside I was screaming!
Patience Test #2: Pass on the outside. Fail on the inside.
Patience Test #3: Grocery shopping with a 10 week old. The store was packed, and it took 90 minutes to get the groceries. When I went to pay, every check-out line was at least 4 people deep. I calmly told my daughter that we were going to practice patience. She was hungry, her diaper was dirty, and I waited in line for THIRTY minutes. But I choose to just calmly rock her, softly tell her that if you despise the waiting, you will miss the journey, and if you miss the journey, you will miss life itself. I was at peace. Baby calmed down and fell asleep. It was actually almost peaceful!
Patience Test #3: Pass on the outside. Pass on the inside!
I know patience won’t come overnight. I know it will take a painfully long time to develop. But little by little I will get there. I hope that one day I will look around and realize that I didn’t just pass the test, but that I aced it. In the meantime, I will keep praying for patience.
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
DISCLAIMER: For all you dear friends and family members, this is not a free pass to try and purposely make me practice patience. We are to stir up one another in love and good works!