Do I really have to say it? Type it? Can’t you just read my mind and know? Because if I say it, or type it, or pray it, I will open the flood gates.
Ugh. It’s out there now. I don’t know if any one else has had this experience, but when I pray for patience or even wish in my head that I had more patience, God asks for delivery confirmation. In other words, I have to exercise patience. Is there any other fruit of the spirit that is harder than this one? Seriously consider all the fruits – love, joy, peace, THAT one, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Is there one that you find more difficult than THAT one? Because I can’t find a harder one.
This summer is going to be that summer – the one where I either get it, or don’t. I know this because we are one week into summer break with all four children running amok and things are already harder than I ever thought possible. My friend Boogie shared a picture on good ole Facebook this morning that put it all into perspective for me.
Yeah. She’s smart like that. She also inspired the Carnations so she’s REALLY smart like that.
See I think I struggle with patience because I want people to live MY idea of the Golden Rule.
In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
But MY version of the verse reads very differently, “Do what I need you to do for me when I need you to do it at the pace I think it should be done because I regularly answer to your every demand as soon as you utter it.”
I could have that a little skewed. And this morning, as a follow-up to Boogie’s picture, my children drove it home. They asked for orange juice with breakfast. But I was in the middle of reading an e-mail so not only did I fail to respond but I didn’t even move. So Top Middle got up and got out the orange juice and the cups and then asked me again if I would pour them some orange juice. “Could you wait a little minute?!” Not said with THAT character trait – at all. If I ask them to do something, I expect immediate action. I wonder why they expect the same.
It goes beyond my children, though. Many times I ask God to provide something, or cause something to happen, or relieve some stress, and I get upset when it doesn’t happen in my time frame. God, don’t you get it? I asked for it so I need it done now.
I stopped a minute ago and re-read Isaiah 40. I know we all love the end verses (28-31) but if you read those end verses in light of the whole chapter they kind of lose their warm and fuzzy. They kind of become a “duh!” in the context of the rest of the chapter. Our God is so unimaginably mighty, powerful, and awe-inspiring. Of course He can give strength and endurance to those who will wait for Him!
But here’s the thing – He does it out of love. He does it consistently because He is willing to do that much (and more) for us. And He did. If anyone should be impatient, it is God. He really doesn’t ask that much of us – love Me; love one another and do it every day. We don’t get it or we mess it up and still He extends His love and patience to us.
I guess this is the summer I need to embrace patience. And yes, I said that out loud.