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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)