Yes, you did read that right. You see, I’ve been a spiritual toddler for the better part of my adult life, and have only recently begun to experience any growth. I was saved at the age of 14, and I am now 40. Can you say SLOW LEARNER?
Thank God that He is patient. As I mentioned in an earlier post, He’s working on me in that particular area.
I’ve always been fairly laid back, and I don’t mind waiting in line, and I don’t get stressed out in traffic, so it never occurred to me that I needed any more patience. As a matter of fact, I used to say quite often, “Whatever you do, don’t pray for patience, ’cause you’ll get it the hard way.” And it’s true. You know it is. Even when we don’t pray for patience, some circumstances require it of us, and our choices are to let it get the better of us or to grin and bear it.
Me? I’d smile and wax all self-righteous (inwardly, of course – I’m no Pharisee!) for remaining calm and “bearing much fruit” in those situations. It’s a wonder I didn’t dislocate my shoulder patting myself on the back like that. (Little did I know that fruit was artificial.) I’ve had many difficult situations in my life that have brought me to my knees asking for His divine intervention, but you can bet your sweet bananas that I didn’t mention the P-word.
Alrighty then, if I’m so patient, what’s the problem? Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, right? It says so right there in Galatians 5:22. The problem is the word “Spirit” – the source of the fruit. If it doesn’t come from Him, it’s artificial. Hmmm. (cue the lightbulb) I didn’t ask Him to produce that fruit in me, did I? I had resisted, flat out refused to do so. Now we’re getting somewhere.
Another problem is that God doesn’t operate according to my time table. Not that I follow a rigid schedule or anything – far from it – but when it comes to waiting on the Lord… well, I’m the one in the back hollering “are we there yet?” every five minutes. I mean, it’s enough to make any parent want to administer a big ol’ dose of extra-strength backhand. But not God. No. What did He do? He out-waited and out-witted me.
One night before bed, while I was focused on an extremely difficult situation, fervently praying, desperately crying out to Him, He gently reminded me that in all my prayers – faithful and fervent though they had been – there was one thing I had never asked of Him. I winced. What?! Are You saying that this situation may have come about because I refused to ask for that? Oh, please Lord, please, say it isn’t so. (If the Almighty has ever rolled His eyes, I’m sure He did just then.) I could only surrender, and as soon as I uttered the word “patience”, I was overcome with peace. Amazing.
That situation still has not been resolved, but my Heavenly Father has given me the calm assurance that He’s on it, and He will handle it as He sees fit – in His time. I’ll just have to wait.