Opportunity for Patience

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The alarm goes off.  I roll out of bed, get ready, grab my breakfast and head out the door to experience what this new day will have for me.  Of course, the events of my day are well-planned out making sure to fill every minute.  Then it happens… opportunities for patience.

I hit what seems like every red light on the way into work.  I get stuck behind the slowest car on the highway while trying to meet a friend for lunch.  I choose the slowest line at the grocery store with the cashier in training.  I spend 20 minutes on hold waiting for the next available representative.  I get a call from a dear friend who is struggling with the same issues we talked about the day before needing some more encouragement again.  I sit at a coffee shop waiting for a friend who is always running late (but to be honest I might be the friend in this scenario)!

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Each one of us can recognize when these opportunities present themselves.  They are unavoidable and demand that we yield to them in some form or fashion.  They are usually at the most inconvenient time, when you don’t have a minute to spare or you have something else that you need to be thinking through or preparing for.  And I’m sure if you paused for a moment and thought about various opportunities you have each day to display patience, you might be surprised at the list you could come up with!

We all have daily encounters with people or things that demand that we impart patience.  The questions we will find ourselves asking are: Will we respond with patience? Will we accept or tolerate an inconvenience or suffering without getting angry or lashing out? Or maybe even: What benefit will we gain from letting anger control us rather than showing patience to others?

I recognize the wrestling that takes place within me when things don’t go my way or I’m inconvenienced by the trivial things in daily life.  However, with each of these opportunities for patience I am faced with a choice of how I will respond.  I can get angry or worked up by things or I can slow down, pray and acknowledge that God is sovereign over all circumstances and is allowing me to experience these moments for my sanctification.

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It’s no wonder that God speaks to our need to be patient in circumstances and with one another.  Every opportunity is being used to conform us into the image of Jesus and to display Him to others around us. When opportunities for patience arise and we respond in anger or frustration, we are not revealing the beauty of Christ and His gospel accurately. We are working against it, against the Spirit of God within us.  Paul tells us

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law”  (Galatians 5:22-23 NASB).

His Spirit causes us to walk in patience and makes it evident that we are His by the fruit we display to others.  As a believer in Jesus, God has given me His Spirit who enables me to respond with patience even in the most challenging situations.

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So, the next time you feel as if you cannot tolerate a situation that is calling for patience (big or small), stop and realize that you are more than capable because God has given you Himself to walk in the opportunity for patience.  Also, remember that God is using these seemingly insignificant moments to grow you and that you can find joy in them knowing that they serve a purpose of growing your character in Christ (James 1: 2-4)!

 Carlotta Pic

If you’ve been around Transform Student Ministries the past couple of years, you’ve probably met Carlotta! Carlotta has been aconference/camp staffer, office volunteer, summer intern, teacher/mentor, and recently came on staff full-time as Transform’s Special Programs Coordinator Carlotta’s love for the Lord is contagious, and being around her makes you want to know more about her Savior.

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