Day 13 - Relating in Patience
“Dear brothers and sisters, be patient as you wait for the Lord’s return. Consider the farmers who patiently wait for the rains in the fall and in the spring. They eagerly look for the valuable harvest to ripen. You, too, must be patient. Take courage for the coming of the Lord is near.”
James 5: 7-8
Meditate or Reflect
I have a memory from my youth: there was a Nestle Chocolate Quik commercial with a Bunny mascot who tried and tried to resist the temptation of chocolate milk with the proverb, “patience is a virtue.” Poor bunny didn’t last too long, but he tried. Just last year, New Balance released a commercial with the tagline, “impatience is a virtue.” We have seemed to turn this virtue, patience, upside down. Patience is a struggle for most of us, and, unfortunately, it seems that impatience is taking the lead. In the verse for today we learn that patience is like waiting for a harvest to ripen: it takes some time, and it is the result of great care and nurturing along the way. If we are impatient, the harvest will not yield its best results. Specifically, this verse reminds us to not lose sight of what we are daily waiting for – the return of Christ. Take a breath and think of areas in your life where you are being patient or impatient. Are there any situations or relationships that are testing your patience? Reflect on the great patience of God who waits for you, so that none might perish. Recall to your mind the many ways God has been patient with you.
Thoughts and Behaviors
Turn to your thoughts and behaviors. Are your thoughts and behaviors produced in patience (abiding and endurance) or impatience (hurried)? Consider the verse from James 5: 7-8 and reflect on these questions with the Spirit’s help:
Flourishing and Protecting
Our great God is the perfect and holy model for patience. From Genesis to Revelation to the present – He exercises perfect patience with each of us. As we strive to be more like Jesus, though falling short in our humanity, we should extend patience with others in our words and actions: in restaurants, sitting in traffic, and when others are going through personal growth and change. However, when we are met with people who are quickly irritated or short of temper, it may be best to invite someone else into the conversation – a counselor, an impartial friend, a trusted advisor. Hopefully, a patient spirit can be cultivated, but if it is not, then it may be time to create boundaries for protecting your space of patient endurance. Also, search your heart, mind, and soul to see where you may be short tempered or quickly irritated with others, and make any changes that could improve your part in a relationship.
To flourish with patience in relationships means to allow for space and time to make progress. Developing patience is like preparing for the harvest: it takes persistence, great care, and nurturing, abiding with God in solitude and silence. Take a breath and receive the blessing of patience that God has for you – He patiently waits for you – meet Him in this moment. Also, express your gratitude for the relationships where you experience patience, and pray for those who struggle to be patient.
Comments are closed.
Amy Fleming, MA, LPC