Some people think you should not pray for patience because it will only bring you troubles. I think that idea comes from Romans 5:3
“ . . . but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance (NKJV).”
In case anyone hasn’t noticed, tribulation, affliction, troubles, stressors both great and small happen to all of us in some form, almost every day. If I’m going to have it anyway, I’d at least like to learn some patience, or perseverance, while enduring the tribulations.
Consider an incident that happened to me on my way to work one morning.
Now mind you, I work in the music department at a church. Praise songs float from the media players at computers. I often go to one of the pianos and play a song I’m working on. Co-workers are fun and easy to work with. Staff are genuinely good people. A great environment, to say the least. I’m usually in a good mood as I head to work.
So I’m on my way there, running a tad late (aren’t I always?), when I had to stop at the first red light of my trip. As I sat there idling, I didn’t think it would take long since I’ve analyzed the traffic light pattern, and my lane gets to turn next.
The light turns green, and the front cars begin to move forward. However, the driver in the car directly in front of me is looking down, fiddling with a cell phone or a purse or something. She is not paying attention or noticing that the cars ahead of her are moving along. Nor does she realize I’m running a tad late (aren’t I always). So I blow my horn, just a light tap, to alert the driver that WE ARE MOVING NOW! Her car moves forward. And suddenly I regret having used my horn to prod her along.
I began to think, why couldn’t I have been just a little bit more patient? A few seconds is not going to make that much difference in my drive time. If I had left a bit earlier, I wouldn’t be running a tad late (just like always), and I would not have been rude to the driver ahead of me.
I followed the driver all the way to Little Flock, wondering if she was going to turn in the parking lot. Yikes! What if she does? What if she is a co-worker, a parent of student at Little Flock Christian Academy, or a visitor to the fitness center. What if she is someone I am supposed to witness to? How is that going to go? “Hi, I’m the woman who honked the horn at you for being too slow at the stop light. Let me tell you about Jesus.”
I see my faults and failures so many times, usually after the fact. I am imperfect too much. I was convicted about my actions and my attitudes. Thank you Holy Spirit.
So I pray for more patience with people I don’t know who drive at their own speed and in their own way. I pray I will remember the world does not revolve around me and my schedule. And I pray I will develop the discipline to leave a tad bit earlier more often.
Yes, I could use more patience. I need it to survive in a world full of big and little tribulations. Tribulations are designed to teach me patience, to work it out in me, to produce a good fruit.
I’m praying for more patience. How about you?
Are you developing the fruit of the Spirit? Tell me about it by leaving a Comment.