Remember in our early business careers how restless we became when events and situations didn’t occur as quickly as we had planned? We would probably become frustrated and at times outwardly angry because of it. Some of us were probably even an explosive bomb with a very short timer. Then one day we found our self waiting in the lobby of a customer. Previously to this time, we would have waited for a few minutes and if the customer didn’t arrive, we would reschedule and move on to other important priorities of the day. But remember that first time when it was different? When we found our self waiting patiently for their late arrival. There was no frustration. There was no anger. There was no explosion. There was only calm, reassuring patience. We may have even forgotten to this day what was the result of our meeting except for the fact that we had exercised patience for the very first time in our life.
A friend shared this story with us a few days ago. He mentioned that at seventeen he started to realize he needed to change and to improve himself. So he began working on improving his character via the old Benjamin Franklin method. He would list the character traits that he knew needed improving and was working diligently to make himself a better person. But patience was not on top of the list. It was way, way, down on the list. There was what he considered more important items that needed to deal with. This is why he marveled. He didn’t do anything to change his behavior in regards to patience. His focus was working on other leadership traits that he considered more important. This was his first experience of truly marveling at the power of God working within him. He came to realize that the real permanent internal change was not caused by him building habits of success. But the real changes in his life came from the Holy Spirit creating within him a masterpiece that only He could produce. This time is was patience. He truly then realized that he is under construction and the Master builder is God.
Since that time he has come to realize that his priorities for spiritual growth are different than God’s plan for him. Why would a young man desire patience? Are there any other more important characteristics that he could use to shape the world? In his case, patience was the first fruit of the spirit that God must have considered more important in his life at that time. Now we see why.
It is through patience that faith comes alive. It is through patience that love is revealed. It is through patience that joy is expressed. It is through patience that peace rules. It is through patience that self-control is exercised. It is through patience that kindness is exemplified. It is through patience that goodness wins out. It is through patience that gentleness makes its mark.
To walk by patience is to walk with God. God is very patient with us. He wants us to learn from Him and to become like Him. As a disciple of His, we are also disciples of patience. God truly knows what is best for us. Let us walk with Him and trust Him to patiently create His masterpiece in us as we live in Him.
Thank you Lord for building your patience in us. Help us in our lack of it. Let your Spirit fill us with the entire Fruit of your Spirit. You know which one we need most today. Let your glory and honor always be revealed in your children. Amen.