I must admit that to pray for “patience” had never really appealed to me before—it sounded so passive and I felt that it was action that was needed.
It’s a busy life as a Mum with several small children at home. As much as we love our children, our patience can be tested sorely when they seem to have endless demands on us—our time, our body, our sleep—all seems to be sacrificed at times! There can be certain “hotspot” periods when children are sick, or teething or just going through a particularly demanding developmental stage—like the “terrible twos”!
It was at one such time that I realised that I just didn’t seem to have patience enough for the task. I must admit that to pray for “patience” had never really appealed to me before—it sounded so passive and I felt that it was action that was needed—dealing with the children, taking them to task or telling them off. And yet I knew that I was really lacking patience and so quickly ended up in irritation or even anger.
I read in James “for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20. I knew that this “righteous” anger of mine wasn’t bringing peace into the situation. It was then that I read this amazing verse: “Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:4.
Then it began to dawn on me—if God really means what He says here, then if I work on my patience in the situation, I’ll have everything I need—and quite literally lack nothing! What a promise!
I began to see how attractive patience was and I longed for it in a way that I hadn’t done before. It was a light for me that by working on my patience I would have all I needed to help my children and cope with the pressures of daily life!
I began to slow down, be “swift to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19) realising that listening to God should be my priority. Then He could instruct me, and my words and actions could be less tainted with my own idea of what’s right and become more anointed by Him.
I’m so thankful to have got a new perspective on the virtue of “patience”. It’s fantastic to get help from God’s word—right in the middle of normal daily life.