In this fast-paced world of two-minute meals, one hour photos, and one day deliveries, we’ve become accustomed to getting everything that we want and getting it now.
The problem arises when we don’t get what we want or we don’t get it as fast as we hoped that we would. That’s when we’re called to exercise patience.
I once heard someone say “Think about an ice cream sundae you wish that you had. Think about how much you want that ice cream sundae, and how wonderful it would be to indulge. And then don’t have that ice cream sundae.” It was his way of saying “Start choosing to exercise patience now, so you can use that muscle tomorrow.”
Notice the little word “exercise” in there. Spiritual activity is much the same as physical activity. If you want to build muscle you have to exercise muscles, and if you want to build patience you have to exercise patience.
How do we start exercising our patience? We can start by being kind, slow to anger, and quick to love. It’s found in the little things like letting go of frustration and excepting the shortcomings of others.
In Nehemiah chapter nine we read about the patience of God:
But they, our ancestors, became arrogant and stiff-necked, and they did not obey your commands. They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery. But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them. (Nehemiah 9:16-17, NI V)
If God could be patient with the Israelites who complained and lacked faith for 40 years in the desert, certainly you and I can be patient with a person we interact with for two minutes in line at the grocery store.
Patience takes practice and sometimes it takes everything that we have just to hold ourselves back and keep ourselves cool, but if we want to love as God loves, we must also live as God He lives.
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Tilling the Soil
Read Nehemiah chapter 9 to get a look at the patience of God in the context of this verse.
But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them. (Nehemiah 9:7, NI V)
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Darlene Schacht and her husband Michael live in Manitoba Canada where the summers are beautiful and the winters are cold. Together they’ve come to learn that relationships aren’t always easy, but that marriage, the way God intended it to be, is a treasure worth fighting for.
She began her publishing journey about twelve years ago when she pioneered one of the first online magazines for Christian women, known at the time as “Christian Women Online Magazine.” After three years, Darlene left CWO to blog as a solo author at Time-Warp Wife Ministries.
It was also during this transition that she worked alongside actress Candace Cameron Bure to write the NYT Best-Selling book, Reshaping it All: Motivation for Spiritual and Physical Fitness. Reshaping it All was the winner of both the 2011 USA Best Book Awards and the 2012 Christian Reading Retailers Choice Awards.
Author of more than 15 books, Darlene continues to write and to minister to her readers through her blog at TimeWarpWife.com.
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You are loved by an almighty God,
The Time-Warp Wife