I have been working with the goal of having more patience. A devotion I read the other day was about the fact that patience comes from above, a vertical plane, we need to use this plane of patience so that we can horizontally give it to people we interact with daily. This is extremely hard when the people we have in our lives don’t make it easy to be around them much less have patience with them. I am not saying I don’t like who I am around but I will admit that there are days in which patience is not what I want to give them. It’s on these days that I wonder how God gives me patience.
Lately my oldest daughter and my hubby have been butting heads. In one corner is my teenage daughter who has to be in control of the the things and outcomes around her. She will come home from school and want to talk to an adult about her day (we are so very thankful and know we are blessed that she does this). She tends to choose the wrong times to do this. My hubby (in the other corner) usually gets home before I do and will get started on dinner (in which I am so very thankful). He loves to turn on the Ipad start the movie he is currently watching and get the meal cooking. He gets into this zone. The zone is somewhat of a barrier that is put up unintendedly by him. Most nights my daughter smacks right into this barrier when she starts telling him about her day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that he doesn’t want to listen, it’s more that he can only handle so much himself. Being a guy, he is wired to fix things. When my daughter starts talking he starts hearing the things that he feels needs to be fixed. This doesn’t mix well with remembering ingredients and the fight scene that started in the movie. So the patience factor is not there.
I am working on a different type of situation in which I am trying to balance the act of being a full time veterinary nurse, a mom and wife. I want to be everywhere at once and I have this desire to have some control in the different aspects of my life. I run into the problem that the people around me don’t see my vision, and why would they? They are in their own circle of balancing acts in their own lives. I get hurt when my kids do something out of the normal (what I consider normal), but they are just trying to figure out who they are. I get irritated when the people I am to count on at work don’t always hold up their end of the bargain. I take it personally when my hubby is hangry and doesn’t realize he is taking it out on those around him. I want to be on the horizontal plane of patience but I haven’t asked the one on the vertical plane for help. God says love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, the verse goes on to say that love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Imagine if love was a person. That is a lot to live up to, luckily Love is God, and we don’t have to try and be love, we just have to learn from the One that is love so that we can give it to others.
Add joy to the mix of patience as well as turning the thought process around to giving vs. receiving. In the earlier years of marriage there was a lot I expected from my hubby. When he didn’t live up to my expectations I would get frustrated. A wise friend asked me one day if I was praying about my frustrations? She asked me if I was praying to change my hubby or if I was praying about how I could change my thoughts about him. It’s so much easier to beg God to change the people, change the circumstances, change the outcomes. What if instead we prayed about the areas in ourselves that need to be changed, cleaned out, redone. My daughter wants to talk with an adult when she gets home, but hits the barrier. Instead of getting frustrated about it, she could ask her dad after he was done if they could talk about her frustrations. She and my hubby would find more joy and patience in this act than just doing the same old routine.
When I see what I perceive as a fault in someone else, I need to first check myself and have a good heart to heart with God before bringing it up. Joy comes in love, love is patient and kind, and it always perseveres. I can complain until I am blue in the face or I can pray about the problem/situation/person and then go forth in love and patience. Being patient is not easy, being joyfully patient is not easy. Life was not meant to be easy, it was meant to teach, grow, and test us. When we use what is given to us by the One that is Love (which includes patience and joy) we will find that we can give the control of our life to Him. Until next time:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8