Part I. Why is Patience a Virtue?
“They” say patience is a virtue. Webster defines patience as “being able to endure an uncomfortable situation without complaint;” and virtue implies “of good moral character.” I hate to wait, and will be the first to admit I am very impatient! At this stage in my life, I believe my impatience stems from feeling my time is being wasted. Time is the only thing in this life I can never get back, and the feeling of knowing it’s being wasted, truly disturbs me. Furthermore, it takes me a while to make (major) life decisions, because I like to analyze every aspect of the situation to ensure I am making the best decision. Once I make a decision, I am ready to move forward with my plans.
Patience is one of the fruit of the spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 (HCSB) reads “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.” All fruit, both natural and spiritual, goes through phases of development to reach maturation. I love fruit…strawberries, watermelon, peaches, and mangos in particular, are among a few of my favorites! As I eat those fruits, I never really think about the process involved in attaining the fruit, short of the trip I take to my local grocer to buy them. However, I am aware there is a process involved in getting the fruit to the store, but the specifics of: growing the fruit, the contractual agreements between growers and merchants, compliance with FDA regulations, transportation of the fruit without spoilage, and calculating a level price point for all parties, never crosses my mind as I am indulging in my fruit, because it is not my responsibility.
Just as we eat fruit for nourishment to our natural bodies, the fruit of the spirit nourishes our lives-spirit, soul, and mind; enriching it with virtue, equipping us to be the men and women of God, He has called us to be, in His likeness. In my blog post, The Gift, I wrote about how God gifted me with my ministry, My Solace Place, (and is still gifting me) to do the work through the fulfillment of my purpose and destiny in life. I believe my (our) purpose in life is to be a reflection of God, because He created me (us) in His image (Genesis 1:27). From birth, we have been gifted with everything we need to fulfill our purpose in life. It is through our experiences that the development of our spiritual fruit-love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control-enables us to be a living reflection of the true and living, uncreated God others see in us daily!
There are a few fruit of the spirit that I struggle with “being” more than others, but patience is the one that I experience the most. Five years ago, after much prayer, careful thought, and much more prayer, I stepped out on faith and started the process of making some major life changes. In my mind, I had a great plan that would make my life better and make my leap of faith rewarding, but God saw different! Over the next three weeks, I will focus on the characteristics of patience and share with you some of the experiences God has taken me through. I will share with you how I have seen, and continue to see, God maturing the fruit of patience in my life.
It is my sincere prayer that you are able to understand more about the fruit of patience and see how God is developing it in your life too! Until we meet again…God’s Blessings, Love, Peace, and Joy to YOU-abundantly, unconditionally, unspeakable, forever, Amen.