What to Wear as a Child of God: Patience

I am rejoicing at hard evidence that I have truly grown in patience.

All my things are red: Mustang convertible, luggage, MacAir, Iphone, Mini-Ipad.  And so was the Vodaphone charging station in the Lisbon airport. There I sat, surrounded by red, charging all my electronics.

My assistant Michelle came running up: “Quick, we have to get through Immigration to get to the Club, and four planes just landed. So I quickly pulled my cords, wrapped them up, grabbed my phone and ipad and rushed to Immigration.  Leaving my red Mac lying on the red Vodaphone station—almost invisible.

After immigration (which quickly filled up behind us), we had to go through security again. Sigh. Oh no! Alarm!  My laptop was missing.  Immediately I could see it—red on red. Michelle tried to go back where we had just come, but no way. We made it to the club, I got settled, and she took off.  Two hours later, she returned, no computer, but with a promise from the airport police to look through the security footage.

I was amazed at my peace of mind and heart, at my ability to say Thank You, Lord. I could hardly believe how patient I was. And so grateful for good work God has done in my life to bring me to this point.

And it’s lasted.  The police found the computer, turned into a nearby store by an honest traveler.  But it’s been more than two weeks, and my forever companion computer is still in Lisbon, making round trips between airport police and city police via UPS.  Not only has patience prevailed, but so has laughter. (It helps that I have a loaner.)

As we look again at “what to wear” as a child of God, we turn to Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

We all know what patience means—and we often assure others that patience is not our strength. Like the new dad who said, “I have no patience for all this baby stuff.” Or the mom who waits impatiently for her daughter to get home from a date.  Or the boss who declares, “I am losing my patience with your carelessness.” Or my long wait for a prodigal to see the light and turn from the “dark side.”

The dictionary gives us these definitions for patience:

  1. the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation (often not so easy to do)

  2. an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.

  3. quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence—to work with patience. Also patience in suffering.

Synonyms often help us grasp the true meaning of the word: composure, diligence, endurance, fortitude, grit, humility, moderation, perseverance, persistence, poise, restraint, self-control. (Hmm—so how am I doing?)

Scripture reveals the patience of God to us:

“Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4)

“ What if God, although choosing to show his wrath and make his power known, bore with great patience the objects of his wrath—prepared for destruction? What if he did this to make the riches of his glory known to the objects of his mercy, whom he prepared in advance for glory—“ (Romans 9:22-23)

“But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.” (1 Timothy 1:16)

God’s Word tells us of the rewards of patience:

“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” (Proverbs 19:11)

“We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (Hebrews 6:12)

And there are admonitions to be patient:

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” (James 5:7)

How? How do we become patient? It seems impossible for many of us. God does not leave us helpless:“…being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, (Colossians 1:11)

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; (Galatians 5:22-23)

Once again we see that God calls us to the impossible—in this case to grow into a patient person.  Then He provides the means—the powerful, available, doing the impossible Holy Spirit.

What about you? Are you becoming a patient person?

c2016 Judy Douglass

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What to Wear Series