|We can become impatient with long lines in busy stores.|
Galatians 5:22-23 gives us a list of the fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Oh, wow we embrace the love, joy, peace, goodness, etc. but that patience word…ooh, that’s not so pleasant in most of our minds; along with the self-control, of course.
But I think those two go together—because patience requires restraint.
A few days ago I was a victim of my own impatience in a check-out line at Wal-Mart. The store was busy and the lines were long. Only half the cashiers were open as well as the self-check. I searched for the shortest line and went to the Express line because I only had a few items.
Two customers were in front of me and they both had more than the requested twenty items or less. The one at the front of the line had an overflowing cart. Seeing the weeks’ worth of groceries I became frustrated and impatient. My mind was criticizing her while I waited with my few items. A spilled bottle of fruit drink from the other customer’s child stopped the checkout process and slowed the speed I would be getting out of the store as the cashier had to stop and call for a mop.
|Be still and know that I am God.|
More impatience flooded my mind and I huffed and puffed agreeing with those behind me about how these people should be in another line.
My opportunity to exercise the fruit of the Spirit passed me by as I instead exercised the fruit of the flesh.
Because of the instant society we live in now we have become conditioned to getting what we want at the touch of a finger from our phones, tablets and computers. Drive-thru fast food satisfies our hunger in a matter of minutes. Fax machines spit out messages from thousands of miles away in seconds.
I think that’s why God tells us to be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Stopping to
think about Him and listen requires us to let
go of everything else and absorb from our Father. Then He speaks. Not when we
demand it, not when we are in a hurry, but when we stop the rush.
|God speaks when we stop the rush.|
The day of my impatient mental outburst was a lesson I hope I can remember next time I am faced with the same situation. Learning to be patient in something as simple as waiting in line behind people who don’t follow the rules can help me learn to wait for answers from God when facing more life-altering situations.
God put patience in the fruit of the Spirit because it is a positive trait, not something we should be avoiding because we view it as a painful experience.
Rewards are waiting (smile) when we let patience reign.
What does patience mean to you? Join the conversation.
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