Are you being patient with others? Do you react harshly when they do not meet your unspoken expectations? Or maybe you do speak what you would expect, but those expectations are too high for them to achieve?
Are you being patient with yourself? Are you going through a challenge where you must adjust: Are you moving out of your parent’s home for the first time, Are you getting married or divorced, are you expecting your first baby and wondering if you’ll be a good parent? Are you fearful of repeating the bad parenting you received as a child?
Are you being patient with God? Are you praying diligently and tired of waiting for answers? Are you wondering if God even hears your prayers, or if he is playing a cosmic joke on you by making you wait without giving you the answer you seek? Are you seeking sunshine and feeling raindrops?
Have you ever read how the Bible defines love: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 New International Version (NIV)
4 “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Have you ever considered the list of attributes and why they are listed in THAT order, beginning with patience and ending with perseverance? Without patience, nothing that follows matters. It is the foundation where forgiveness and grace reside. With patience we can fail and yet not be condemned. It is because of God’s patience with us that we are not eternally condemned.
So today, consider patience and how you can express this gift to others, to yourself, and mostly, to God who loves us so much he allows us to fail, over and over and over again. And in the gaps between, he fills us with love and grace, so that we can learn to be patient also.