Fruit of the Spirit: Patience
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law Galatians 5:22-23, NIV
As we look at the fruit of the Spirit, the qualities which are exhibited perfectly in Christ, and are available to be displayed in each Christian, we now come to the next quality, that of kindness. Now kindness...WAIT JUST A MINUTE... Kindness is not the next virtue. You forgot about patience! (That was the voice of those who are closely following along.)
Yes, the next aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, in the order in which Paul listed them, is patience! How much I would like to have been able to pass that one over, but I can’t. It’s clearly there! Please raise your hand if, like me, you struggle in this area of your life.
Are you like me, and most of the people I encounter, do you like things now? Are you a “hurry up and let it happen” kind of person? Whatever happened to popcorn popped on the stove? What happened to slow cooking a baked potato in the oven? When did fast food come in every form from hamburgers to chicken? When you and I lost our patience, that’s when! Society keeps finding better ways to do things faster, because in our patience lacking world, we demand it!
We don’t like to wait in line! We don’t like other people to get in front of us on the road! We don’t like to have to “wait our turn”. We don’t like to hear “it will be about 25-30 minutes before your table is available”. And, we especially don’t like to hear “God is working all things for good”... “in His time”. We prefer our timing to God’s timing most of the time. Which of you, if you had your choice, would wait several years for God’s plan to come to fruition?
Patience is a tough virtue. I wonder if Christ’s was tempted when the disciples kept failing in their faith. I wonder if He’s tempted when my faith is less than it should be. God calls me to be patient, because, praise God, He’s patient with me.
The next time you are tempted to lose your patience with where you find yourself in life at the time, remember the patience of God, and ask Him to renew and grow that sweet part of the fruit of the Spirit in your heart. And, just for fun, let’s stick a baked potato in our oven tonight....and wait on it!