Patience (Fruit of the Spirit)

Unlike most people think, patience is not the ability to wait, it is the ability to have a good attitude while waiting. Everyone is going to have to wait at some point. Life isn’t about things happening every second of the day. If it was, we would be exhausted! Whining, pacing, and complaining about the wait do nothing to shorten it, in fact, they usually make the person feel the wait more and it will seem longer. Having the right attitude while waiting makes it seem easier and feel shorter.

I found this quote on patience that I really like:

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – Arnold H. Glasow

Our God is a very patient God. In Exodus, God shows his tremendous amount of patience to the people of Israel. In the beginning, God talks to Moses through a burning bush and tells him to lead his people out of Israel. But, Moses comes up with every reason that he is inadequate to go. God, however, responds patiently to every reason saying that He will be with Moses. Later, after Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, the people started crying out to God that they had no food or water and that He had abandoned them in the desert. They very easily forgot what he had done for them in Egypt. However, he again patiently responds by giving them manna and quail and water.

This happens over and over again: the people forget how powerful and loving their God is while God patiently provides.

But, what about us? How can we be patient? Remind yourself that you love the person you want to have patience with.

Jacob gives us a clear example of this in Genesis 29. He is looking for a wife when God sends him Rachel. She is very beautiful and Jacob immediately falls in love with her. Jacob agrees to work for her father, Laban, for seven years just to marry Rachel. So, for seven long years, Jacob works diligently for Laban. However, at the end of the seven years, Laban tricks Jacob into marrying his other daughter, Leah and tells Jacob that if he wants to marry Rachel he will have to work another seven years. Jacob is upset but he does it just to get Rachel. And I love this verse because it tells of Jacob’s patience in waiting to marry Rachel:

“So Jacob served seven years to get Rachel, but they seemed like only a few days to him because of his love for her.” – Genesis 29:20.

Jacob worked for 5,110 days (14 years) but he did it willingly and patiently because of the love he felt for Rachel. I definitely think there were times when Jacob wanted to give up and just go find another woman. But, he stayed and had patience for all of those years because he remembered his love for Rachel.

The key to patience is remembering the love you have for that person. When you do that, all of the little things they do that annoy us will seem trifle because of how much you love them and, more importantly, God loves them.

And once you master patience, you will be able to master everything else because you will have learned the rewards of waiting patiently.

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