I had a dear friend comment to me the other day about how hard it is to be patient.

Actually I hear that often said  when people speak of themselves.  “I just don’t have much patience”, they often say.  Or “I need to learn more patience”.   Some seem to see it as a badge of honor.  Some seem to see it as a weakness to bare that they can never overcome.  And some cry out to God, begging Him to teach them patience.  Look out He does.

Patience does not seem to be an American value  these days.  And in this age of Technology the absesnse of patience  only seems to fuel the fire.   We seem to be speeding faster and faster in our daily lives.  But racing to what end?  Are we running from something, or running to something?  What is it about patience that we struggle so much with it.  Try to ignore it.  Pretend it doesn’t matter?  Why do some see it as a curse?  Some seem to almost hate it.  While some see it as a virtue, moral value to have, others show distain and resentment at the mere mention of the word.

Most of the time when the word Patience arises in conversation there is a sudden discomfort in the room a fleeting exchange and then a hurried effort to change the subject to more pleasant or more urgent things.   Rarely is there a willingness to apply patience to the circumstance or subject at hand.  That just is not the American Way.  That would mean that we would have to tread on that hallow ground that the American mind claims as a sacred human right.

“You should not have to suffer.”

But I ask you?  When did God say that?

Well . . . . . .

My Lord has given me to realize just a little of what Patience is.  In short . . . It is a Gift.

My Lord has said a lot about patience in His Scriptures.  But perhaps the most concise language He uses is Here;

“Love is patient. . . . ” 1Corinthians 13: 4.

It is the first word He uses to describe Love.  And a closer look at the word used there is that it means “Long suffering.”

It is the first word He uses there to describe  Himself.  “God is Love.”

Is it any wonder that we struggle with it? Who would in his right mind want to go there or seek it out?  Why would I want patience?  Even more it is to realize that it is God Himself we are struggling with.  To embrace paitence is to come face to face with God.

The answer comes in that I don’t realize just exactly what patience is.  I show my ignorance, by my attitude and in how I am living.  My life testifies the state of my relationship with my Lord with regard to patience.

So just what is it that makes,  patience is a gift?

Patience is a gift to me because it is a part of His character.  A part of His being. It is a gift to me because it helps me know and understand Him better.  Patience opens my eyes to see more clearly.  Patience opens my ears to hear.  Patience softens my heart towards Him and those around me.  Patience strengthens me and I grow  in character, becoming more like Him.  Patience becomes waiting with Him, but that is a whole other word to grasp for another time.  Patience stirs my very soul and being, perhaps more than anything else.  Patience in me, unites me to Him who is Patient.

So to seek to become patient.  Is to become more like Him.  Patience is something to learn to embrace as the true gift it is to you and me.  Patience is one of His many gifts to you and me.  Patience is in fact God Himself in us.  He is the gift.

Paul in the Scriptures puts it this way in a manner of speaking.  I rejoice in my sufferings. I rejoice in my afflictions.

While I certainly do not go out seeking my “long suffering”, to martyr myself.  I now realize that patience, (long suffering) is a gift from my Lord to embrace and give Him thanks for.

How about you?  Will you embrace the patience of this life that you might embrace His Grace?

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