Monday, December 7, 2009

What Patience Really Means

What Patience Really Means

Dear Mothers,

When I am around other moms, the subject of “wanting more patience” inevitably is brought up. It usually sounds like this, “Please pray that I have more patience with my children.” I, myself, have made that a constant prayer request for the past eleven years.

Recently, I decided to really mediate on just what “patience” is. Curious about what the dictionary said, I found this:

Patience 1. The capacity of calm, uncomplaining endurance and perseverance. 2. Tolerant understanding 3. The capacity to put up with delay and wait for the right moment. (Synonyms were forbearance and resignation)

Patient: 1. Capable of bearing affliction with calmness. 2. Tolerant; understanding 3. Persevering, constant 4. Capable of bearing delay; not hasty

I thought to myself, “This is some pretty, powerful stuff and Boy, am I falling short!”

We understand that in the Bible it is considered a virtuous pursuit. The Word is full of stories of people who had to wait long periods of time for the outcome they were hoping and praying for. Barren women prayed for decades to be blessed with a child. David waited 15 years to be made the king of all of Israel. The Israelites waited 40 years to enter into the Promised Land.

Let’s put that into perspective. When is the last time I’ve had to wait even 20 years for something to come to pass?

This society is so fast-paced, we have become conditioned to not wait on or for anything. This includes waiting for God to answer our prayers in His timing.

We need to remember that God uses delays to test us and to teach us to persevere under pressure. Will we give up before the blessing comes? I prayed for 14 years that my husband would lose weight. Instead he became heavier. Sometimes I would cry out to God in despair and ask Him, why He wasn’t helping Steve or convicting him. My fear of being left alone to raise a large family was very real and terrifying. God grew me as I remembered that He is patient with me and my own struggles with anger and wanting to control things. I would return to God again and again, face down on the floor, surrendering Steve to the Lord. The calmness would come again and the patience to forbear would return. The Lord showed me that this trial was not about me, but about getting rid of the idol of food in my husband’s life. It wasn’t going to be an easy journey, but He was working. (To this day, my husband has given this area of his life over to the Lord; he has lost 60 lbs so far! And yes, I have permission from him to print this.)

I wish that I had been able to endure, uncomplaining when I felt my prayers were not being answered. Sometimes, I would stop praying, because I didn’t get the outcome I wanted, when I wanted it.

Proverbs 14:29a says, “A patient man has great understanding.” Do I show “great understanding” to my husband and children? Do I take the time to patiently listen so that I can have a “greater understanding” of whatever they are sharing with me? I have to watch this because I tend to “tune out” if they are telling me something about a subject that I have no interest in whatsoever!

If you are like me and are struggling with patience, please don’t give up on God. Keep praying about it whenever it crosses your mind or if a spirit of fear seems to strangle you.

Remember, God is not a “fast food god”. His agenda is greater than yours. If you allow Him to make you aware of lessons that He is trying to teach you, you will be blessed with JOY!

Now that is a great reason to be patient today!

From One Mom to Another,


Mrs. Lukie said...

WOW. God knew I needed to hear these words, at this exact moment. I may not be a mom, so while that part of the post doesn't apply to me, the part about me expecting my prayers to be answered in MY time, as opposed to HIS time kinda slapped me in the face. (In a very much needed, good way!)

I am struggling today in regard to my future career-wise. Getting angry that things are taking so long & that I have no answers yet. That I am postponing motherhood for these dreams, which seem to be sitting still at the moment.

And just now, I was reminded that it isn't about what I want. It isn't about anything but glorifying HIM. In HIS timing. At HIS pace. Doing whatever it is HE wants me to be doing--whether it is getting into Nursing School & becoming a nurse, continuing on as an Admin Assistant, or becoming a mommy.

Thank you for the encouraging words that I needed to hear today.

Camille said...

Once again the Lord has blessed you with wisdom to address an important topic Stacie! So dear to the hearts of us all, I believe! Scripture memorization is such a powerful tool to keep our minds occupied with godly a verse convicts or speaks to your down the reference and commit that verse to memory. It is amazing how much of a blessing that one practice alone really is.

Have a wonderful week!

I am blessed! said...

Isn't it ironic that when we ask the Lord for patience, we want it immediately? Thanks for sharing your journey.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

And ya know, patience is a fruit of the spirit, and fruit takes a while to grow!

Cat said...

Patience is one of those fruits that NEVER seems to ripen as fast as we want...curious. And it NEVER rots from laying about too long, does it? smile

Thanks, I needed that.

J said...

Wow. Thank you for sharing. You encourage me!

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

This devotion turned out well. I really needed to hear it tonight, too.

Chris in FL said...

In the time of patient waiting we learn lots of lessons. Thanks for sharing.

Connie said...

Some of the comments were so good, I just decided to say, DITTO!

Tricia said...


Wow - very convicting. That will give me something to meditate on for quite a while. Thank you for sharing what the Lord has shared with you - even when it is a difficult word! We need to hear those just as much! I so appreciate your devotional, and your blog, showing your beautiful family!!

RaD said...

WOW. This one was good. Lots of "food for thought" there and I've got lots of chewing to do.

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