I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s power in patience.
Consider anyone you know who seems especially patient, and you’ll see a person who is in control. I don’t mean in control of their circumstances or in control of their life but in control of themselves.
Patient people tend to be relatively measured and calm. They have perspective. They don’t miss the forest for the trees. They’re fully present in the moment, and they don’t let frustrations derail them. They have self-control.
In fact, they can sometimes make patience seem easy… even effortless. But, make no mistake, it’s just as hard for them as it for the next person. The difference is in the practicing.
Practice makes permanent. Practice makes patience.
Patience recognizes that, while we often can’t control an outcome or timing or circumstances or people, we can always choose to control our response.
In fact, patience is like a diet. Most diets operate under the premise that you need to eat a certain way for a certain amount of time so you can achieve the results you want, and then life can continue as it did before. Only, all too often people end up gaining back all the weight – and then some – because the diet wasn’t sustainable.
The truly sustainable diet isn’t a diet at all… it’s making a change in eating habits that’s practical for the long haul. It’s only once we accept that there’s no magic formula… just a new way of life and a new way of eating – one bite at a time – that real change happens.
The same is true with patience. We will become more patient once we come to the realization that patience isn’t a quick fix, but a change of mind. It’s changing how we react to disappointments, waiting, anger, frustration, things not happening that we wanted, or things happening that we didn’t want. Or things happening in a different way or a different timing than we’d hoped for. Step by step, patience is developing a determination to change the things we can change – ourselves… our actions and our reactions – and turning the things we can’t change over to God.
But, what if you’re like me, doing reasonably well with patience in many ways but feeling like you’re fighting a losing battle in certain situations?
Well, the Bible has the answer for that.
When I come to the end of myself (which is often…), Jesus is always there to fill up my weakness with his strength. And, what He’ll do for me, He can do for you.
Can’t do it on your own?