Patience

4 10 2010

Patience is a virtue. I am not really sure that our society has a good grasp on the meaning and importance of virtues any more. We know they are supposed to be good things, but seem a bit dusty and antiquated.

According to the dictionary, a virtue is “the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness.” When we let God define our virtues, it is a snapshot of what it means to look like Jesus.

Patience is one of those virtues that helps frame the presence of Christ in our lives. I struggle with being patient. It requires waiting, slowing down, and putting my desires to the side while making room for God to work. Instead of being patient, I often complain about how slow people are moving, question why answers don’t unfold in my timing, and wonder aloud about when things are going to align according to my perfect plan.

Recently, I was talking about patience (and my lack thereof) with a group of friends and they shared a definition that stopped me in my tracks. Patience, they explained, is waiting without whining.

Light bulbs started popping all over the place. Patience is more than suffering through the moment in order to get what I want. Patience is waiting, trusting, and depending on the goodness of God. Patience is best framed in a heart that can worship, instead of whine, while it is waiting. It declares the faithfulness, righteousness, and mercy of the Lord even before it sees answers or experiences resolution. A patient heart finds joy in the act of waiting, experiencing the presence of God in moments where I tend to whine about wasted time.

My Jesus Resolution today is to wait without whining. I am going to practice patience (and it will take practice!). I am going to see moments of waiting today as opportunities to praise Him, rather than tapping my foot and complaining. If I view those times that require patience with the expectation that God is going to do something good, I might be surprised at how God infuses those moments with His grace.


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4 responses

4 10 2010
Oleta Coleman

Love it! And love you and your dedication to inspiring others to “Look like Jesus.”

4 10 2010
Janet Coile

“Waiting without whining” is what I have always taught my preschool classes. It’s hard for 4 year olds to know what patience means. It’s also hard for me to remember that!!

4 10 2010
Carla Mahle

Thank you for this nugget of wisdom today. It was just what I needed to hear.

5 10 2010
Alma Studer

Oh my goodness – just what I needed today.
Thank you.

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