But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23; 25 ESV
It’s interesting that Paul uses the word ‘fruit’ to describe these attributes because like any natural fruit it takes time for them to grow, develop and mature. I wish these fruits were given to us as soon as we became followers of Christ in their mature state, but they aren’t.
Patience is also the only fruit of the Spirit that is bound by time.
You can only learn patience when you are forced to wait for something and patience is a necessary character developer that our culture is removing with instant gratification. We have lost the art of waiting. I have had dreams God has placed in my heart and I have been guilty of immediately taking it upon myself to try and force it to happen now. I couldn’t comprehend why God would give me a dream then make me wait for it to manifest.
Because of my inability to wait I took steps prematurely and the dreams were never fully realized because I moved before God told me to. I didn’t wait on Him to show me the way and a lot of times I don’t even ask God when I should move on those dreams.
I learned the hard way when I don’t trust God in His timing I get impatient and impatience has caused me to take roads I was never intended to take. When we become impatient we become discontent.
And when we are discontent we make poor choices, choices that we think would fast track us to our destination but end in disappointment and bitterness.
It’s in the waiting where God shows up as Jehovah M’Kaddesh – The One who sanctifies us.
When we wait we have to learn how to love in ways we haven’t lived before. When we wait we learn to have joy where we are now, not wait to have joy when we get there. When we wait we learn to have peace because the alternative is anxiety. When we wait we learn to be faithful to the path He has placed us on and to those around us when a lot of times we want to abandon it all for something easier. When we wait we learn self control because we would rather indulge in the desires of our flesh. When we wait we develop humility because we have to acknowledge God is the One who is in control. We learn discernment, trust, faith, empathy and our character begins to look more and more like Jesus’ which is the whole purpose of sanctification.
We don’t want to bypass the development of patience because we miss a characteristic of God that shows up when we have to wait. Life is made up of a series of waiting and once we think we have become patient in one area, we are faced with a new “opportunity” to have patience in another area.
Patience is a necessity while we journey through our life and it’s constantly being refined, tweaked, stretched and developed.All of us are in the process of waiting for something. Maybe you are waiting for –
restoration in a relationship a healing a dream to manifest an answer to a prayer a new job a baby a husband to graduate from college
The wait doesn’t have to be filled with anxiety or hopelessness because God is the One who says how your life is going to play out. We serve a God who is ever present, He is faithful, He is kind, He is the author of our lives and the story He is writing is beautiful and full; a life that will reflect Jesus and bring glory to His name. Our role is to trust His timing, surrender to Him daily, keep our eyes fixed on Him, walk in obedience and pray without ceasing.
Father I thank you for continuing to work in and through me to develop patience. Thank you for being present in the waiting, thank you for leading me while I wait, thank you for making me lie down in green pastures while I wait, thank you that your timing is perfect. Give me eyes to see what you see, joy in the midst of the waiting, give me clarity when I don’t understand, humility when my pride tells me to take control and faith to believe your plans are good for my life. God keep doors closed until my character is strong enough for what’s on the other side, give me ears to hear what being spoken in heaven so my prayers match Your words. Father make me a vessel you can flow through to bring glory to your name and to bring heaven to Earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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