My husband pulled up at our nearby grocery store to pick up the groceries we had ordered online (doing what we can to stay out of covid-19’s way). He got out of the car and a sweet lady greeted him and told him she would get to him as soon as she could. The store was swamped with orders and the help they had was limited. My husband told her to not rush and he waited patiently in his car.
After a few minutes passed by, she came out huffing and puffing, exhausted from the day. So my husband helped her load our car with the groceries. He then proceeded to tell her how much he appreciated all the hard work they do there. She looked at him with eyes of gratitude. She told him that she had considered quitting her job because she was so tired of being treated poorly by customers. She continued to explain how all her previous customers had been so impatient with the delays in deliveries or the low stock, that it would cause them to lash out at her. My husband took the time to encourage her and to explain to her how much it meant to our family that they were able to do this for us. She explained to him how his patience, kindness, and his thoughtful words provided her the hope she needed to keep pushing through this tough time at her job.
I share this story with you because I believe patience is worth practicing, learning, and mastering. It is like any skill we wish to acquire, it takes honest, hard-work but the benefits are endless.
I can name about ten products or things right off the top of my head, that have “insta” right before it. I bet you could too. We love to have things now, not just now but right now! I mean who wouldn’t when we have everything at the tip of our fingernails? Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with things that are instant, like the rice I made last night. I’m thankful for lots of instant things! But, what isn’t right, is how we let it change our hearts. We mustn’t become an impatient or greedy people. Instant or quick things should be used as tools that we are grateful for, especially in times like these. Therefore, let me today, encourage you to strive for a patient heart, because just like the lady above, it is a beautiful way to impact and influence the world around us with the love and hope of Jesus.
We all need to become more patient, because patience is an art form that is worth practicing and mastering.
A Patient Word
Let’s talk about the word, “Patience” for a second, shall we?
The word “patience” is used frequently in the Bible. In Galatians 5:22-23, it states that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
If you look at the list above, you’ll find the word “patience” to be a powerful word, because it is indeed a fruit of the Spirit. Each one of those words above goes hand in hand. If you have kindness we’ll then you should have goodness and if you have faithfulness well then your called to gentleness and if your gentle than you should be patient, right? Therefore, as faithful followers of Christ we are called to this. We are called to be patient with one another. When we are a patient people, we are better listeners, kinder to each other, slower to react, we behave more gently, and we love each other better. God loves patience, because look how patient He is with us? Am I right?
This reminds me of a story in 1 Samuel when Saul was King of Israel. Let’s first look at 1 Samuel 8:8 and the command that Samuel gives Saul:
“And you shall go down to Gilgal ahead of me; then I will come down to you to present burnt offerings and offer sacrifices of well-being. Seven days you shall wait, until I come to you and show you what you shall do.”
Now let’s go 3 chapters ahead to 1 Samuel 13:8-14:
“He waited seven days, the time appointed by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and the people began to slip away from Saul. 9 So Saul said, “Bring the burnt offering here to me, and the offerings of well-being.” And he offered the burnt offering. 10 As soon as he had finished offering the burnt offering, Samuel arrived; and Saul went out to meet him and salute him. 11 Samuel said, “What have you done?” Saul replied, “When I saw that the people were slipping away from me, and that you did not come within the days appointed, and that the Philistines were mustering at Michmash, 12 I said, ‘Now the Philistines will come down upon me at Gilgal, and I have not entreated the favor of the Lord’; so I forced myself, and offered the burnt offering.” 13 Samuel said to Saul, “You have done foolishly; you have not kept the commandment of the Lord your God, which he commanded you. The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever, 14 but now your kingdom will not continue; the Lord has sought out a man after his own heart; and the Lord has appointed him to be ruler over his people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you.”
So what do we have here? Well we see an impatient Saul, who did not listen to Samuel’s clear instructions to be patient and wait for him to perform the burnt offering. Instead, he disregarded his commands and he let his impatience overtake him. And in that swift moment, his actions led to the loss of his entire kingdom. If he had only waited a few more moments, then he might still have been king.
Sometimes our impatient actions can be destructive. We end up hurting the ones we love the most, because we didn’t slow down or wait. I am sure we all can think of a time lately when we could have slowed down, been more patient or more understanding? Being impatient isn’t worth the hurt it can cause.
Make It Happen:
Let the word “patience” fill your mind this week as you go about your daily life. Together let’s choose to be more patient with our coworkers, our family members, friends, colleagues, and even strangers. Let us be slow to react or get frustrated and instead be quick to show mercy, grace and love.
Instilling patience in our children is so important. That means we must lead by example. Show your kiddos how far a little grace and extra love can go! Maybe next time when your preschooler is about to have a complete breakdown over the toy your toddler isn’t sharing, she might stop and reconsider her actions because she saw how patient you have been lately.
And remember that patience is a valuable tool that is always worth working hard for!
Sam (The Coffee and Bread Team)