Patience is something we never pray for, because if we do – we just know something bad is going to happen!
The AC will quit working.
The dog will run away.
We will wake up late.
Screaming will ensue.
Trash will spill everywhere.
The smashed, cold, uneaten eggs will cover her booster seat….the floor…the bottom of her diaper and feet.
No, this did not all happen to me this morning before 9:00am…
No, my eye is just twitching from allergies…
One of my dearest friends once told me that she explained “patience” to her young girls as “Waiting with a good attitude.”
So simple. So hard – even for adults!
It is not just about waiting though. We want to be able to handle certain situations without becoming irritable, irrational, and maniacs. As mothers, that may seem impossible at times. For example in the car the other day:
They were arguing again. Their voices started out a soft murmur, but began to climb higher in pitch and volume. I reached over and turned up the volume to the song playing on our speakers – such a soothing melody did nothing to soothe the tension building in the backseat. I realized the music was only causing the argument to raise its volume, not turn it down. I switched if off. My muscles tensed. My head was throbbing. The traffic was heavy. The fighting continued. Screaming began to ensue….and finally….I had had it!
Mothers get to a breaking point….then guilt floods our hearts. And sometimes the guilt is there for a reason: sin. The guilt brings me to my knees in repentance and causes my heart to want to change.
I want to change my reactions to situations! I really want to be “waiting with a good attitude!”
Patience is about the attitude and the actions.
Sometimes I struggle with the right attitude.
I want to feel patient. I want to feel peace and calm. My circumstances swirl around me stealing my peace – but I really want to wait with a “good attitude.” I want to respond to the chaos that is my life sometimes with a sweet, kind, and loving voice coming from a sweet, kind, and loving heart.
Sometimes I struggle with the right actions.
I want to have the right response to situations (regardless of how I feel). I want to give a kind word or a smile. I do not want to lash out in anger or give a huff of disappointment.
Our attitude and actions go hand-in-hand. Galatians 5 encourages us to live a Spirit-filled life and we will have patience! How do I do that? Three things came to mind when I think of having patience. I need to:
1. Lift High
One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.
For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
If we need patience for the moment, worshiping God is something we can do right away. Praising God can be just the thing to allow me to get quick control ofI my boiling blood. It is a matter of doing – not feeling. I do not need to feel in a “lift-your-hands-in-the-air-hallelujah-moment.” I only need to do it. Sing a song. Hum a tune. Just say the words: “God I praise You for who You are!”
While we wait for something to come (for us, the adoption). I can spend my hours and minutes praising God. I do not need to sit and do nothing. I can praise God. Praise Him for paperwork. Praise Him for progress. Praise Him for a closed door (or open door!)
But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.
Work. We do the job we are called to do. As mothers, this means cooking, cleaning, disciplining, teaching, guiding, and the list could go on. All Christians are called to work. We are to love, witness, study God’s Word, pray, go to church, and the list could go on. We do the work regardless of how we feel. The feelings will come (and they may go) but continuing to labor is the key to developing true patience.
Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.
We can always be learning. Learning how to be a better mother, parent, friend, and Christian. We are to be studying God’s Word. Reading it daily, but also meditating on it – memorizing it. While we wait, we learn. While we exercise patience, we are learning. God is our Teacher – and He longs to lead us down the path of Truth!
Patience is about the attitude and the actions.
If you are struggling with patience remember this:
We need to be doing what we know we need to do. We then need to cultivate the correct attitudes as well.