Patience is a Virtue
Hey, there! Do you struggle with patience, like I do?
It’s funny because I used to consider myself pretty patient. Until I had kids. Now I get frustrated so easily, and my kids know exactly which buttons to push. But I’m still called to be patient with them.
This lesson of patience has been popping up everywhere. I always know when the Holy Spirit is trying to get my attention on something because He brings it up several times in totally unrelated ways.
This current lesson about being patient started a year or so ago when I realized in the middle of my study on hope that patience goes right along with it. Because we hope in something, confidently expecting something to come to pass, it hasn’t come yet. If we’re still waiting on it, we’re supposed to be patient for it. Whether that’s hoping for a specific situation to be redeemed or hoping for the end of all pain once we reach eternity in Heaven.
Then last fall, my husband lost his job.
We had been in this situation before, but I felt almost abandoned by God, thinking, “Lord, haven’t we already proven our faithfulness in poverty? Why do we need to go through this yet again?”
The very next month was NaNoWriMo, National Novel Writing Month, in which I began the first, very-rough, rough draft of #3 in the “Love is…” series, Love is Patient. Yes, the main theme is patience. I kept thinking about how I could help readers going through situations they needed patience in, especially those waiting for marriage.
I didn’t realize that I was also writing it for myself.
I should have realized then that the jobless situation wasn’t going to be resolved anytime soon. Even now, we’re still slogging through application after application and interview after interview, watching our life savings quickly dwindling out of the checkbook.
But because I know He has provided for us in the past, sometimes miraculously, I know He will be faithful to provide for us now. But it will take patience. He will most likely wait until the last possible moment. That seems to be His pattern with us, waiting until we can do nothing more, until we’re relying on His working through His other children to provide our basic necessities, before He shows us the next step. When we rely only on Him.
What’s really funny is that throughout this whole process, I’ve been dealing with frustration after frustration with Love is Patient! You may not be aware that I lost three months worth of edits and had to start almost all over again with my roughest rough draft.
Then after I published the ebook, it still took me two more months to figure out why the paperback formatting wasn’t working. (It’s at times like these that I’m so thankful that I don’t have a publisher breathing down my neck for failing to meet a deadline.)
Little did I know that I was writing a story that contained a lesson I still needed to learn. I was being led of the Spirit to not only share this lesson with all my readers but also to remind myself of this lesson all during the writing, editing, and formatting process.
Now on to the last part of the story:
Just last week, a book club I love on Goodreads (Christian Fiction Devourers) started reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I’ve read it many times before, as Austen is probably my favorite author of all time, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read through her entire works.
The main idea of Persuasion is that the hero and heroine, Captain Wentworth and Anne Elliott, were engaged eight years ago but broke up. Now they are thrown together again and are left wondering if it’s too late for reconciliation.
(If you’ve ever watched the Lake House, a movie with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves that I highly recommend, especially if you love anything to do with romance and time traveling, Sandra Bullock’s character mentions Persuasion as her favorite book. )
Here’s the kicker: both the book and the movie are all about waiting.
Then just the day after yet another interview fell through, I received a daily email devotional from Faith Gateway that talked about being trained through trials like an unbridled horse (from Cara Whitney’s Unbridled Faith). She mentioned, “When God teaches us patience through trials, it can feel as if we are running in circles in a round pen. However, God does not corral us to be cruel. He holds us in place to teach us to walk in His ways, not to stray, and to trust in Him.”
Okay, okay, Lord, I get it! I need to keep waiting patiently. You’re training us for something.
So far I’ve learned that we never arrive. We’ll never be the best at patience. Perseverance is a lesson that can only be learned through hard times and frustrating times, with no escape. But, as the Bible says in James 1:2-4,
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (NIV).
You don’t have to patiently wait for the big announcement about Love is Patient. Click HERE before September 1 to find out what it is…
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