Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29)
I’d just finished composing an important email that needed to go out. All I had to do was hit “send” and I’d be on my way to the next task of the day. But the Wi-fi signal dropped out and my email couldn’t go through.
My daughter needed one last piece of information from the Internet for her school work. After carefully searching for what she needed, I was ready to print. But no. The printer had a mind of its own and stubbornly decided it wasn’t going to print in that moment.
You’ve got to be kidding me! I need this right now!
I had just enough time to get to my appointment as I happily drove down the highway. Christian music blasting and the sun roof open, I sang cheerfully, soaking up the beautiful afternoon. But suddenly I had to slam on my brakes as traffic came to a screeching halt. A slow truck pulled a trailer behind it, at a whole 25 miles per hour. I was going to be late now!
Come on! Can’t you go faster?? (I said these words out loud as if the driver could actually hear me.)
More often than not, I’ll humbly admit that my level of patience is not good in these moments.
Technology and Traffic. These are the two things that–when they aren’t going my way–try my patience more than anything.
Instead of letting the Holy Spirit work patience in me, I frequently choose to let my flesh drive me in the opposite direction. A direction leading to a quick-tempered attitude. According to the scripture above in Proverbs, this displays folly.
Folly? A fancy word for sin.
This is where the process of sanctification takes place. The areas in which we are most weak are where God wants to work His character in us. The situations that drive us most crazy are where God wants to usher in His peace to replace our impatience.
I honestly feel like a failure in these moments! The moments where I’ve lost my patience and embraced my flesh instead of finding God’s power and following His lead.
What about you? Can you identify the areas of your life where you seem to lose your patience most often?
The moments that trigger the worst in you?
The moments when your calm spirit quickly turns to a chaotic sass?
God is showing me that these are the very opportunities He allows for me to turn to Him. These are the moments in which I get to decide to follow my flesh or surrender to Him. As a teacher continues to test his students until mastery is achieved, our loving Heavenly Father continues to let us encounter these moments until His character comes through.
So the next time I blow it (yes, it will happen!), I can soak up God’s grace and forgiveness and trust that He will give me yet another opportunity to try again. For me it’s traffic and technology. For you it might be something else. But whatever it is, as long as we live on this fallen earth, there will be ample opportunities for God to work patience in us in our most trying moments.