VATIC Expressions: Truth, Transparency, Transformation
Volume 2, Summer 2016 Issue. A division of Vatic Publishing®, LLC.
The Fruit of Patience
by Laura Frohmader
Patience is one of those interesting topics. I often joke that I don’t want to pray for patience because then I’ll end up in some situation which requires me to learn patience. I really want patience right now, without having to learn it. I get anxious about situations and want them resolved in my time frame. God usually has a different time frame, and lessons to teach me along the way. An example of God’s time frame involves Abraham, who showed patience, waiting a long time for God to give him the son He promised. “And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham obtained the promise.” (Hebrews 6:15). Hebrews chapter 11 talks about the faith of famous Bible characters. That faith produced patience.
On the other hand are examples of people I can relate to, who showed impatience. Martha was irritated that Mary was not helping her get ready to host Jesus as their guest. “But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”’” (Luke 10:40-42) I have been impatient while getting ready for a party. Though, in my case, I just wanted everyone to get out of the house so I could get things done without distraction. Martha’s tasks were not wrong, but her impatience blinded her to the importance of balancing her priorities. She needed time to patiently listen to the Word. When I take time to read God’s Word, I can focus more on how to carry out my tasks in a God-pleasing manner.
Jonah is another example of impatience. God showed His love and patience in having Jonah warn Nineveh to repent. Even after warning them and seeing their repentance, Jonah wanted to see Nineveh punished. He went out of the city to sit and watch what would happen to it. Read Jonah chapter 4 (all of 10 verses). God addressed Jonah’s anger toward Nineveh. Thankfully God was patient with the Ninevites. He loved them and wanted them to be saved. Thankfully God is patient with us, as well.
Moses was punished for his impatience. He was not allowed to enter the Promised Land. “Moses and Aaron summoned the assembly in front of the rock, and Moses said to them, “Listen, you rebels! Must we bring water out of this rock for you?” Then Moses raised his hand and struck the rock twice with his staff, so that a great amount of water gushed out, and the community and their livestock drank. But the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not trust Me to show My holiness in the sight of the Israelites, you will not bring this assembly into the land I have given them.” These are the waters of Meribah, where the Israelites quarreled with the Lord, and He showed His holiness to them.” (Numbers 20:10-13) I can understand Moses’ impatience with the constant whining and rebellion of the Israelites. As God’s chosen leader, more was expected of Moses. It is a difficult thing to follow Proverbs 12:16, “A fool’s displeasure is known at once, but whoever ignores an insult is sensible.” When someone insults us we want to lash back. As children of God, possessing the Holy Spirit, we are expected to bare the fruit of patience with a controlled attitude.
Naaman felt insulted that he should wash in the Jordan River instead of better rivers back home. His impatience was also accompanied by anger. Thankfully his servants showed wisdom in pointing out the simplicity of Elisha’s message. “Then Elisha sent him a messenger, who said, “Go wash seven times in the Jordan and your flesh will be restored and you will be clean.” But Naaman got angry and left, saying, “I was telling myself: He will surely come out, stand and call on the name of Yahweh his God, and will wave his hand over the spot and cure the skin disease. Aren’t Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be clean?” So he turned and left in a rage. But his servants approached and said to him, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more should you do it when he tells you, “Wash and be clean?”” So Naaman went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, according to the command of the man of God. Then his skin was restored and became like the skin of a small boy, and he was clean.” (2 Kings 5:10-14). That’s why Psalm 4:4 is good advice, “Be angry and do not sin; on your bed, reflect in your heart and be still. Selah.” Anger and impatience often go together. When we show patience we also feel peace as well. Let us heed the warning of Psalm 37:8, “Refrain from anger and give up your rage; do not be agitated—it can only bring harm.”
May this article bless you and the Holy Spirit speak to you of His Truth.
All Bible quotes are from the Holmen Christian Standard Bible unless otherwise noted.
© 2016 Laura Frohmader