My Patience is Running Out!

"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience..."
The Greek word for patience used in Galatians 5 is makroqumia and it means about what you'd expect it to mean: long-suffering, slow to avenge wrongs, endurance.

No surprises there. What I did find interesting when I researched this word was how often it Is used to describe God. And the context usually implies that his patience is undeserved and under appreciated.

It's not hard to be patient with someone who's doing the best they can: a toddler trying to walk, an old man shuffling across the street. But the fruit-of-the-Spirit patience is extended toward deadbeats--willful, arrogant, hard-headed people who don't even realize how much patience is being expended on their behalf. 

Like us.

The fruit of the Spirit means just what it says--characteristics of God manifested supernaturally in our lives. In other words, God has shown us time and time again how it's done. Just look at how long he bent over backward for those rebellious Israelites. Talk about unappreciative! He had every right to be fed up, yet he never gave up on them.

The difference between God's patience and ours
 is that God's doesn't run out.

Ours always does. We may stick with it for a while, but eventually we all have a breaking point and say, "That's it. Enough is enough. I'm done with you." And we walk away, shaking the dust from our feet.

The kind of patience the Holy Spirit pours into us is God's kind. It is an unnatural ability to be patient with people who are not trying their best, with situations that won't resolve, with pain that goes on and on. Our human strength and patience has an ending point, but God's doesn't and that's why we need his kind rather than ours.

Is your patience running out?

Good! Coming to the end of ourselves is a great reminder that we need God. He can't fill you if you're already full of SELF.
Tell him you cannot do it anymore. You give up. You're done. And then ask him to fill you with his patience, his joy, his peace. 

When the line at the bank is longer than it should be, your kid "forgot" for the third time, and the insurance company is wrong won't lose your cool because you're not limited by your perspective.
Patience is the settled reality that this is God's show and we choose to let him deal with it however He wants to.


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