And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. – 2 Peter 1:5-7
Patience is one of those virtues that we claim we want to possess, But we can’t really learn it from a book or a lesson. Most of us, I’m betting, would consider the cultivation of patience in oneself as a VERY difficult prospect. It takes massive persistence, endurance, and extensive practice! NOTE TO EVERYONE: My own practice of patience is still a work in process. Ask my wife, she’ll tell you! 😉
Patience particularly seems to be at a premium these days. Tempers are flaring. Financial stressors are through the roof, and many of us are getting stir crazy from being hemmed in either alone or with a few people. We want get back to our work and our lives. We’re tired, and scared, and little bored. It’s OK to admit it. Patience easily can slip to impatience in a instant. Quite the quandary…
Higher sources were needed, so I went straight to Webster! Old habits die hard, and I like to have a term as defined as possible before we discuss it.
The dictionary offers this definition of patient:
1: bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint
2: manifesting forbearance under provocation or strain
3: not hasty or impetuous
4: steadfast despite opposition, difficulty, or adversity
When I asked it to define patience, it gave me this: “the capacity, habit, or fact of being patient”.
OK, I’ll grant you, that one’s no shocker, but when I looked again, I paid more attention to the word “habit”. The habit of patience. Is this implying that we can act and show patience even we may not feel like it?? You mean we can CHOOSE to practice patience, and to possibly even get better at it?! The answer, is a resounding yes!
Again, not to spend too much time on the difficulties we’re struggling with right now, but now more than ever the notion of developing a habit of patience could go a long way to keeping us safe and sane…and in hope that a vaccine is forthcoming.
We’re still living blessed lives, as we are and always will be beloved Children of God. Our hope, as a great old hymn reminds us, “Is built on nothing less than Jesus’ Blood and Righteousness.” May we focus on what we do have and moreover, how we can share our blessings.
For now, we will continue to meet digitally and virtually when we can. I saw a picture of a church sign that read: “God does not need us to open church buildings, He wants us to BE the Church wherever we are.” To that, I will add a heartfelt, “Amen!”
Let us pray:
God of all goodness and virtue, the are times that are trying the patience of many of us. You know our needs better than we do, but today we humbly ask for ability to keep cultivating the good habit of patience. We know that as we live, work, and have our being, you have commanded us to share our bounty with others and always work to upbuild one another. With patience and kindness always in our hearts and actions, we promise to keep working towards those goals. With you, all things are possible! We ask all of this in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Be well, be kind, and be safe everyone! I continue to pray for the time we can meet again in person. Live in hope!
Pastor Wes Poole †