Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Even Apostles Get Annoyed

© 1971 John Gajda Library and archives, www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

© 1971 John Gajda
Library and archives,
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca

The physician Luke, who wrote the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts, records a moment when he, the apostle Paul, Silas and Timothy were preaching the Good News in Philippi. For several days, they had been followed by a slave girl who was possessed by a demon, and given the ability to prophecy. She was making lots of money for her owner with this ability, yet she followed the group of disciples

Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.” Acts 16:17-19

Notice that Paul didn’t heal this girl of her demon out of compassion; he healed her because he was annoyed with her! Even Paul had his moments. Yet, he knew the right thing to do, and the right way to act. He waited on God, knowing that it was only with God’s help he could remain a proper disciple of Jesus. Later that day, he and Silas were arrested, beaten and jailed. When God caused an earthquake that wrecked the jail and loosened the chains of all the prisoners, Paul calmed the prisoners, prevented them from fleeing, and brought the jailer and his entire family to Christ.

May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5

I’m not saying any of us have this kind of patience. Lord knows I don’t. Thought I admit I have more patience with people than with circumstances. I have a tendency to see myself and my mistakes in others. However, I do have issues around circumstances that are beyond my control. Can anyone out there identify? What? You want me to wait, Lord? Be still and, what?

~~~

Patience

by Belinda Borradaile

Be gentle with yourself
All else is what must be
To place us in the ways to shape
The mortal we must be
And sit here for a while
DO wait for it to pass
For all we know and all we see
Invites us in to ask

 What will this have me do?
What will this have me say?
What will this hour now unfold?
What answer will I hold?

 What tales must we first see?
What trials we must endure?
What brings us to where we must be
To patiently endure?

 What is this word we know?
That does not grow from nought
It sets us up to take a fall
It causes us to doubt
All that we think we know
Of all we could be giving
Yet time and space to breathe it in
Reveals how we are living

 So sit a while and wait
Think softly of these times
When dark and fear obscure the path
When peace does not abound
Inside these hidden moments
The mystery shall resound
In how to wait without rebate

Our patience to be found. 

~~~

Waiting is so…difficult! Yet over and over, I see it.

Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope;

Isaiah 40:31 But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

Habakkuk 2:3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.

Why are we afraid to wait? Oswald Chambers* said it succinctly: “Our greatest fear is that somehow, Jesus Christ will be defeated, that the very things our Lord stood for – love, justice, forgiveness, and kindness – will not win out in the end and will represent an unattainable goal for us. Then there is the call to spiritual perseverance. A call not to hang on and do nothing, but to work deliberately, knowing with certainty that God will never be defeated.”

Again, Paul reminds us, “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3

When I remember, and rely on the Holy Spirit, patience comes. When I remember how patient God has been with me, how can I refuse to be patient with others, or with His timing?

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

May the Lord lead your hearts into a full understanding and expression of the love of God and the patient endurance that comes from Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Patience copyright 2014 Belinda Borradaile

Belinda’s reflective and sometimes humorous poetry, prose and art can be seen on

Idiot Writing, http://idiotwriting.wordpress.com/ (though I can tell you she’s definitely NOT an idiot. About herself, Belinda writes, “I am a middle class girl; from a middle class suburb, with a middle class education and middle class ambition.” She also says, “I only have my voice…

Perhaps my voice can reach into your heart and make it smile for a few brief moments in time.” I think she will make it smile for more than a few.

This post can also be seen on Susan Irene Fox, http://susanirenefox.com/2014/02/22/fruit-of-the-spirit-patience/

*copyright 1935, Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, February 22, Oswald Chambers Publications Association, LTD; (renewed 1963, 1992)

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About Susan Irene Fox

Jesus follower, peacemaker, unfinished human. Body: over 60; Reborn: August, 2006. Writing devotional workbooks for new believers. Dedicated to using God's grace and unconditional love to bring people into God's embrace.

Posted on March 8, 2014, in thoughts and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. Thank you I needed this. I’ve been experiencing impatience lately. Sometimes I try to control things that I know is out of my control. I have to have faith that God will do things for me in the right time and not on my time

    • Kori, it’s not always easy; trust me, I know. It’s during these times it’s important to pray to Him for help in the waiting, and for confirmation that your direction is the right one. The Holy Spirit will send you that confirmation through a friend, a word, a devotional – even a song meant just for you. Keep your eyes and ears open. You may not understanding His timing yet, but it is always perfect. You will know it when it arrives.

  2. Susan, I had to deal with a very difficult health care conference today to discuss how I perceive the needs of my care are being met and their opinion of how I don’t need the services I say I do. How I thank God that He gave me His patience and calmness as I read my impact statement. My pastor was in attendance. He said Karen and I had put a number of cracks into their armour, into that wall of resistance they were displaying.

    If it wasn’t for God’s spirit of peace in me, I wouldn’t have been able to defend my need for care. My emotions would have got the better of me.

    Mnay people needing care face this injustice, which they write to me about. They pour out their tears concerning not receiving the supports needed for their health and possible re-entry into a career.

    When I am in better health and only if the Lord calls me to, I will continue to advocate for the government to change their policies in Ontario, which has people on limited pensions paying for the home care they need.

    Please pray that God will keep Karen and I patient as we wait for the Lord to do His will, which I believe will get me and people like me with chronic health conditions the care they need.

    Your touching piece brought me some peace through a very difficult time for us.

    Susan, all your pieces have been used to speak to my heart at my deepest point of need.

    Blessings, dear friend and fellow warrior of the faith.

    Kevin

    • Oh, Kevin, if my words have uplifted you in any way, I praise God. I continue to pray for you and Karen as always. From one warrior to another, from one overcomer to another. Blessings, my dear friend.

      • Hi Susan

        God has blessed me with the ability to be a passionate social advocate for Him. It was the calling I received from the time I was born and was reaffirmed in a Korean ambulance when I was serving as a missionary and Assistant Professor of ESL at Kwandong University in Kangnung, South Korea. Kangnung is on the eastern seaboard of South Korea.

        I believe the Holy Spirit spoke to me in that ambulance as I was coming close to going into coma from severe asthmatic bronchitis. Even though i was fighting for my breath, I felt a peace that I know came from God. As I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, I saw an orange light. Some would discount this and say I was imagining this, that I wanted to see that light. I know that for me to feel the deep serenity of spirit I felt then, it couldn’t have come from my own imagining.

        I feel the Holy Spirit speak to my heart. I am offered the opportunity to go home, There is acknowledgement that my life filled with abuse from my manic depressant schizophrenic father, abuse from others in my life, misjudgements of my character, poverty and a never-ending journey of increasing disability and illness is a tough calling.

        The choice is made clear. I can go home to my eternal reward or stay. There will be no loss of crowns. I can choose to stay. If I stay my life will become even more difficult. The blessing if I stay is that I will be fashioned into one of the most passionate and effective social advocates the world has ever known. In that advocacy for the suffering many will be led to Christ.

        It’s not that I’m anyone special of my own humanity. In all frank honesty of my own humanity I would never have signed on for such a tough calling. I would say to my Lord, “Get someone else! I don’t need the pain and the hurt that will come as I fight for God’s suffering children.”

        Then, my Lord says to my spirit that He has called and will continue to call many mentors to help me, to guide me as I go deeper and deeper into that calling.

        Yesterday was a brutal health care conference for Karen and I. Every agency was seeking to justify having left Karen and I for over a year without the help we need for my personal and home care. It took every remaining ounce of our energy to advocate for ourselves.

        I cried as did Karen as I read my impact statement. Susan, the Holy Spirit guided me as I prepared it. I am praying about putting it on this blog, Linkedin where I have 1,880 contacts,my own blog, among key prayer warriors and the facebook group page I was called by my Lord to start which has the same name as my blog, “Dreaming together for a better world.”

        There is an injustice in the province of Ontario which needs to stop. People on limited government pensions are having to pay what is stated as a subsidized rate of $9.00 an hour for home care. If they aren’t approved for personal care through attendant care outreach they pay $34.00 an hour for that.

        Government bean counters devoid of compassion make people’s lives a living hell who are too poor to afford these rates.

        I have always maintained that investments in health care now will mean less investment in that as people are given the medical, vocational and home supports they need to get employment and become taxpayers.

        I will be raising this issue with France Gelinas, who is the Health Critic for the New Democratic Party in Ontario.

        There is much interest in me joining the federal N.D.P. As my health improves, I may well be called by my Lord to take on that responsibility. I know that if the Lord is with me in this that He will give me all I need to be His advocate, to fight for those who feel they have no voice.

        I will continue with my main calling to become a psychotherapist and an ordained minister. Thanks to God speaking to a dear friend and brother in Christ to support the costs of my M.A. -Ph.D. program, I am receiving more than the training required to be a Christian psychologist.

        This same Christian brother provided the payment of my re-certification fee to be a Christian counsellor through the Canadian College of Christian Counsellors.

        What I like about my doctoral work is that I won’t be doing a thesis that collects dust on a shelf. My doctoral work will be a project of no less than 80 pages, which makes a contribution to the field of Christian Clinical Counselling. It will be designed as a ministry outreach project which can then be put into action as a program. I’m already thinking that this project could be how to integrate music therapy into a unique abuse recovery program unlike any other program. That would be making a significant original contribution in the healing of the abused. It would be making sweet lemonade out of the bitter lemons of abuse in my own life.

        But for now the call is to rest as I prepare for the next phase of my calling, to be a light at the Englehart Nursing Home, where I will be receiving respite care that will give Karen a break from caring for me and then on to Bridgepoint Health Care Centre in Toronto. While there a team of health care professionals will do a battery of assessment tests, medical tests and then devise a treatment program. I will go back for health care tune ups.

        I am very worn today. I had another mast cell attack. The hopeful news is that my doctor, Eugene van Onselen will be advocating for the following;

        1)Home oxygen when having a mast cell attack
        2)Ensure Plus for vitamin and mineral malabsorption that is occurring with my mastocytosis
        3)Compassionate coverage of Singulair, which gives significant help with allergy symptoms, keeping me out of the ER. It cost the Ontario taxpayer over $49,000 for seven weeks combined of being hospitalized two years ago because I did not have this medication. I raised this point in my health care conference. The generic form of this medication is only $73.00 a month. I said it just isn’t right and is fiscally irresponsible.

        From the meeting the following will be happening;

        1)Reassessment for home support care -cooking, cleaning

        2)Reassessment for personal care -bathing

        3)Occupational therapist from Community Care Access Centre to assess for power chair because of how mastocytosis is affecting my mobility.

        Susan, thank you for your prayers during this difficult time. Like the apostle Paul I am knocked down, but I am not knocked out. I will recover to fight on for my Lord wherever He calls me to go in my service for Him.

        To God be the glory as I shine for Him!

        Shalom, dear friend, sister in Christ and fellow warrior.

        Kevin

      • Thank you, Kevin for the detailed update. Your power and courage is sustained by the Almighty Provider. I pray regularly for our government here, but will add Ontario to those prayers as well. It is an injustice that needs to be righted.

        I, too, am on disability and even though America is better than what you are going through, I wonder sometimes at the decisions made. If they could walk in our shoes…

        Bless you, my friend. Please tell Karen she is also in my prayers.

  3. Wow amazing blog ❤
    It would help me a lot if someone like you followed my blog and gave me some tips and tricks on running an awesome blog 🙂 My blog link is:
    http://couchpotahto.wordpress.com/

    • Thank you for your comment. All I can tell you is that I pray and allow the Holy Spirit to guide my words. My blog has grown slowly and organically – no tricks. Those can be found searching Google. My readers and followers come from the Lord as He sees fit to guide them. I pray your journey is filled with His blessing.

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