Growing the Fruit of Patience
By Ramona Davis
Friday, May 26, 2017
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7-8 NIV
In the middle of a cold, dark winter, I received a glimpse of spring in the form of a gardening catalog. My spirits were lifted as I flipped through the pages of vivid, colorful flowers in full bloom. I decided on an order of wildflowers that would return to my garden year after year.
Early that spring, my order arrived. I couldn’t wait to tear into the package. My heart and jaw fell as I retrieved dead, brown sticks from the envelope. They were a far cry from the colorful garden growing in the picture of my mind.
Furious, I wanted to throw them away but my husband urged me to plant them anyway and see what would happen. Spring came and went and no wildflowers were seen. Feeling cheated and guilty for trusting pictures – I vowed never to order from the catalog again.
The next spring something amazing happened! I began to see strange sprouts in my flower garden. A few weeks passed and my garden began to flourish and resemble the beautiful wildflowers I had “planted” in my mid-winter dreams the year before.
I thought it would be impossible for those dead sticks to grow anything! I had given up on them after no visible signs of their growth only to be amazed at their transformation much later than I expected.
I should have been more patient.
This reminds me of other struggles with patience I have had. In my trials, circumstances I see with my physical eyes make change seem impossible. So often I have been tempted to give up hope and stop praying. I have grown impatient waiting on the Lord and have taken matters into my own hands only to make a monumental mess of things.
I should have been more patient. I should have waited on the Lord’s perfect timing.
With other people, I have failed to give the grace I have been given. I have been impatient with my family members, close friends and people I don’t know. Instead of serving this blessed Fruit of the Spirit, I have thrown the rotting fruit of a judgmental attitude their way.
I should have been more patient. I should have remembered His patience with me.
It’s important to keep a prayer journal. Write down your prayers and make sure that you date them. When a prayer is answered, write the date the answer came and how it was answered.
When you are struggling with patience, return to your prayer journal and see all the prayers that God has answered in the past.
The knowledge that God DOES answer prayers in HIS perfect timing can sometimes give US the patience that we lack.
Trusting in God and turning to Him in all circumstances helps to produce the fruit of the Spirit in us.
Lord, forgive us for being so impatient… impatient with our love ones, friends and others we come in contact with. Most importantly, forgive us when we grow impatient with You and try to take matters into our own hands. Give us a healthy dose of humility and help us to remember how patient You are with us. In the Mighty Name of Jesus.
© 2017 by Ramona Davis. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 26 May 2017.