It was the great Gary Barlow and friends who told us in 2006 to have a little patience. I know this is something I often lack in the big things and the more trivial things!
We’re currently trying to teach our 7 week old to go to sleep in some kind of routine. So when she doesn’t respond to my incessant ‘shhhhing’ and patting, I get impatient. I regularly have to be lovingly told that she’s only 7 weeks!
And now 11 weeks into lock down, social distancing and what feels like real isolation for many the country, perhaps you included is running low on patience. Although the guidance has been relaxed recently, we’re still wondering when we can get back to normality or what normal will actually be in the future.
Can I take this thought for the day to remind you that, as Christians, we should be standing out amongst those around us as being more patient, less impatient. That well-known passage in Galatians 5 describes what acts of the flesh are – how those who aren’t walking in the spirit behave. Then we have the opposite list for how those who walk in the spirit should behave, referred to as the fruit of the spirit. And what is included in there? It depends what version you’re looking at but patience or one of its synonyms is in there.
If we’re living by the spirit, we’ll be patient. It’s fine to enter into the discussion asking questions about the validity or usefulness of certain practices. But ultimately when we’re patient, this is one way we can stand out and be a witness.
Obviously, we have the perfect example of patience in Jesus. Despite all he said and did, even those closest to him failed to fully see who he really was until he rose from the dead. Throughout his ministry he put up with the constant attempts of the pharisees to trick him and catch him out. And then we can read of the Father’s patience too. 2 Peter 3 verse 9 tells us that although God will keep his promise of eternal life for those trusting in Him, ‘[The Lord] is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.’ God is giving every opportunity for people to accept His gracious gift of salvation.
In the coming weeks, can you, do you need to try a little patience?