The Grace of Patience

I can’t believe that everyone has exactly 24 hours, that’s 1,440 minutes, or 86,480 seconds in a day. Time can’t be the same across the board, right? Remember how long it was before Christmas morning arrived when you were a child? What about how long a school year seemed? It was so long! Now, the time between the 4th of July to Christmas feels like only a few weeks; it makes my head spin. Time goes quickly and I think that’s convenient because we live in a fast-paced society, but it isn’t always. We are so used to an immediate communication and speedy delivery service that impatience rubs us raw when these things don’t happen. We would all fare so much better if we practice a little patience in our day-to-day lives. Patience is important and provides many benefits in life.

1. Without patience, we would miss out on many joys of life.

My grandfather used to say there are things in this life that are worth the wait; as a teenager, I would have vehemently disagreed with him. Adolescents want it when they want it and it had better be now!

There are some things with which we must practice patience, or we would miss out on the best. Women must wait nine months to meet their babies. Home grown tomatoes must mature in order to enjoy their taste. That sweet, floppy-eared puppy needs to be 8 weeks old before you can cuddle him on the way back to his new home. Impatience is areas such as these could keep you from these joys of life.

2. Others are patient with us.

How much fun are you to live with? I’ve asked myself this question many times. I am proud to say that frequently; I am fun. I have a super sense of humor and have a unique view of life. There are, however, some times when I am anything but fun. How my husband and friends put up with me regularly sometimes amazes me.

Just as amazing is that God is so patient with me. I Corinthians 13:4 says that love is patient and since God is love (I John 4:8), God has great patience with each of us. I am so grateful for this. Unlike people, God knows everything about me; my thoughts, motives, actions, words and more and yet He is patient with me. It is very humbling. Considering these things, how can I not choose to be patient with others?

3. Patience is a gift of grace we can give others.

If you’re like me, there is a handful of people that rub you the wrong way. Often it is a personality incompatibility but it can also be because of the bad choices these people make.

The Biblical definition of grace is, unmerited favor, usually attributed to God. Grace is receiving something good when we don’t deserve it. As mentioned above, God is love and love is patient. When we are the recipients of grace, even when God knows everything about us; including the skeletons in our closets, how can we not be patient with others? We can choose to be patient with others because of grace

4. Patience can often calm a difficult situation.

As a teacher of middle school kids, the end of a school day often sounds like a hen house. The energy and noise level of the kids is high and since I am now bordering on being an old geezer, my tolerance is low. I know I must have had that much energy when I was their age, but it has not existed within me for years. There are many times when I’d like to pull my hair out and scream, “Stop it, now!” but patience is the antidote I need to prevent a teacher meltdown.

In the heat of frustration, take a step back from what’s going on for a moment. Patience will often defuse a situation that is on the verge of combustion (either on others’ end or mine).

We do not know what circumstances others are going through and practicing patience is giving ourselves and others a valuable gift.

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Susan Grant

Susan Grant

Just as our bodies need proper nourishment and exercise to be healthy, so does our soul. Exercise opportunities to keep your soul fit. www.susan-grant.com