Have you taught your dog the command “Wait?” It is very useful. Not as onerous as “Stay,” and teaches patience.
How do you process being patient? Do you sit it out with no stress? If you do, you are definitely unique! Do you stress out and mess up several areas of your life while you wait for one thing to resolve? In remembering my most stressful times, I think of —
- Waiting for responses from my own, and later, from my children’s college applications. The end result of those scary times have a HUGE impact on one’s life!
- Waiting for the birth of my babies. Again a time which makes an indelible mark on one’s future.
- Waiting to hear from a potential employer after an interview. The job that you land will take you in directions you never dreamed could happen — whether good or bad.
Defining the meaning of the word patience, my online dictionary says:
1. The quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
2. An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
3. Quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence to work with patience.
What does the Bible have to say about patience? Paul talks about patience many times in his letters. Patience is one of the attributes which marks a Christian, because it requires the presence of the Holy Spirit to achieve.
Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. . .”
Creating an acrostic of terms related to what patience involves, I looked up the meanings of each synonym, then uncovered supporting Biblical references:
P is for Passivity — a part of patience is unresisting and receptive to external forces; submissive.
Proverbs 19:11 “A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.”
A is for Assiduous — constant; unremitting; persevering; industrious; attentive: an assiduous student.
Colossians 3:12 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.”
T is for Tenacious — constant in application or effort; working diligently at a task; persevering; industrious.
Ephesians 4:2 “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”
I is for Indefatigable — unable to be tired out; unflagging.
1 Timothy 1:16 “But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.”
E is for Endurance — The ability or strength to continue or last, especially despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina.
Colossians 1:11 “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.”
N is for Nonresistance — The policy or practice of not resisting violence or established authority, even when tyrannical, by force.
Proverbs 25:15 “With patience a ruler may be persuaded, and a soft tongue will break a bone.”
C is for Composure — serene, self-controlled state of mind; calmness; tranquillity.
Luke 8:15 “As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.”
E is for Equanimity — mental or emotional stability or composure, especially under tension or strain; calmness; equilibrium.
Romans 5:3 “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.”
We probably never come to a point in this life where we are not forced to stretch our patience. There are a couple of issues testing my patience level at the moment, but age and experience have brought a new level of acceptance. “All things work together for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28. I remind myself to not stress over these situations. God is in control. He has a plan. All will end well.
James 1:3 “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.”
What is your patience rating? Remember the word “annoyance” in the above definition of patience? Yeah. That is the part of patience that still claws at me. I would like to say my patience is a 10 (out of 10), but it is probably a 9 due to annoyance. Then I remember God is in control, and this is the way things are supposed to be. How about you?