Monday, October 24, 2016

Patience is the Key

by Andrea Renee Cox

Have you ever heard that you should never pray for patience?

I have. Many times.

But I’ve ignored that suggestion every time.

Why?

Because I knew in my soul that I needed patience. And that I wouldn’t receive it if I didn’t ask.

The Lord asks us to live by faith. Sometimes I don’t know what that looks like, but there is one time in particular that I know I knew exactly what it looked like. I don’t recall what I was doing or where I was; those things weren’t important at the time. What was important, though, was that I realized I had zero patience. I also figured that, to face many more years of life (if God so chose to give them to me), I would need a lot of patience for whatever challenges daily living would bring.

I weighed the advice I’d received from countless people. “Never ask for patience,” they’d tell me, “because you won’t like the answer. It’ll be so hard you think you’ll die.”

Then I thought about that verse in the New Testament that says we have not received because we have not asked.


That’s when I knew this was one of those moments God was asking me if I trusted Him enough to ask for the thing that might very well kill me (at least according to those people’s advice).

It was a moment in time that felt as if it lasted forever and only for a second at the same time. What would the “patience lessons” look like? Would they really be as bad as people were telling me? Would they be easier? Would I cry every night? Or worse, would I beg God to let me out them?

Would I become more patient? Would I be a calmer person, who didn’t lose my temper and get frustrated so quickly? Would I be happier and filled with joy once I knew what it meant to wait patiently?

Even as I was weighing the pros and cons, that whisper in my heart that I’ve come to know as the Holy Spirit’s prompting call blew into my mind. I’m not exactly sure what the words were He whispered, because they weren’t audible. They were more of an impression and a sense of what God wanted me to do. It was really surreal how I could hear that quiet, whispery sense louder than all of the blaring questions pounding my brain.

The Holy Spirit was asking me: Do you believe God will help you improve this area of your life? Do you believe this is what He wants for you? Will you trust Him to do what’s best for you, even when everything you know about this situation looks very bleak indeed?

The question then became: How would I answer?

It was an instantaneous “Yes!”

So I prayed for patience. Night after night. When I eventually forgot to ask for patience, I would be reminded during especially difficult tutoring sessions or moments when I didn’t understand why certain people were upset with me. Then I’d start praying for patience again.

Eventually, I saw a change in myself. One that was hard to believe.

The same situations that usually had my temper boiling over in about three seconds now failed to get a rise out of me at all.

Talk about blowing my mind! I knew that metamorphosis could only come from God’s hand. It was a miracle. A modern-day miracle. Yes, they still exist. I know; I am one.

So here’s my advice for anyone out there who lacks patience:
1. Weigh the pros and cons.
2. Listen for the Holy Spirit’s prompting.
3. Decide how much you’re willing to trust God.
4. Step out in faith.

If you decide that you’re ready to face whatever “patience lessons” He might have in store for you, then ask Him to give you more patience.

But be warned: You might not like every lesson He sends you. But you will appreciate the end results and the miraculous change inside of you.



What about you? Have you ever prayed for patience?
Were the “patience lessons" harder or easier than you had originally imagined?
Have you noticed a miraculous change inside of you?


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10 comments:

  1. Wow...thank you for this, Andrea! This is the very thing I've been struggling with the past couple months (or should I say years). I have been praying more and more to have patience and rest in every area of my life. I can't say it's easy or getting any easier, but one thing that it has taught me is that I can look to God for everything I go through!!

    I can't say there is a miarculous change in me yet, but I'm slowly beginning to see God's work in my heart.

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    1. Olivia, I'm so proud of you for asking God for patience. It's amazing to see how He's teaching you through this request to focus on Him no matter what your circumstances. I'm happy for you, that you're already seeing a slow change in your heart. Trust me, girl: That slow change IS a miraculous change. Not all miracles happen in a blink. Some are rather slow but steady things that blow us away only as we look back at them and see how far we've come. Hugs and blessings.

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  2. Such a timely post Andrea. I am struggling so much with this right now in so many areas of my life. And I know that I know that I know, that it is because my willingness to trust that He will take care of my circumstances is kind of broken. Thank you for this word of wisdom that He has used to convict me of my trust issue. I will start praying earnestly for patience, one day at a time.

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    1. Rebecca, thank you for your honesty. Trust is such a difficult thing to maintain in today's (or any generation's) society. I think it's even more difficult with God, because in order to truly trust Him, we have to open up those deepest parts of ourselves that we're used to hiding from the world. It's hard to be that vulnerable, isn't it? But here's the thing: God already sees those parts of us... and He loves us still. I will join you in prayer for patience, as well as renewed and strengthened trust in God. He knows how to mend that broken trust. Pray and watch, my friend. God's about to do amazing things for you.

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  3. I prayed for more patience many years ago and went through some trying times, but it developed my patience 💯 %. Wonderful article. Hugs

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    1. What a wonderful testimony, Lucy! Thanks for sharing it. It's those trying times that feel like they'll break us, but God uses those circumstances to strengthen us, infuse us with patience, and draw us ever closer to His heart. Hugs to you too!

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  4. I'm fairly well blessed because I have always had a good portion of patience. I would be hesitant to outwardly ask for more patience because I have already been given lots of life lessons that require patience. I guess that is likely why God gave me a goodly portion of patience in the first place; He knew the things that I'd have to deal with in my life. I'm so glad that you were able to notice a wonderful change in your life once you asked for patience. God bless you always, Andrea! :) <3

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    1. Thank you, Debbie! I am impressed at how balanced you are with all that patience. One thing I love about humans is God has made us all so different and unique. We all learn things at different paces and have natural abilities (God-given, of course) that serve us well in our individual circumstances. Thanks for sharing your experience with us today! God bless you too!

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  5. Isn't it funny how well-meaning advice can be so wrong? But we hear what we WANT to hear ... and if someone will tell me I really don't have to do that hard thing, I'm quick to grasp that as THE answer. But when I'm willing to do whatever God wants, I will hear his still, small voice and my, "Yes, Lord" becomes a joyful obedience! And then, in his time (oh-so-different than my time) I see that he has been working in me all along! Thanks for this post!!

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    1. Oh my goodness, yes! I love the way you worded that: "Well-meaning advice can be so wrong." What works for one person isn't always the same thing that will work for someone else. I also really like how you said "when I'm willing to do whatever God wants." That willingness is the key, isn't it? It's a choice we make to follow Him. It's not always the easy choice to make, but it is always the right one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today! God bless you, Susie!

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