Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Patience - Dinner #40

     Christmas is a WHOLE SEASON requiring PATIENCE!  If you have pets, you no doubt need patience as they try to climb the tree or tear into the presents, right now.  If your little ones are stuck inside the house, you need patience with their pent-up energy.  If your husband is working over-time, because of the holidays, you need patience with his busy schedule.  And if your baby girl is nearly 6- months-old and teething, like mine is right now, you need patience with her great amount of fussiness! SMILE!  LOVE is patient! I Corinthians 13:4,7 “Charity suffereth long, and is kind . . .  Beareth all things . . . endureth all things.” 
     Have you stood in a long line at WALMART, this month, or dealt with rude customers where you work?  Sometimes it takes an EXTRA MEASURE of patience and self-control to get along with others.  In Ephesians 4:1-2, Paul commands God’s children to, “. . . walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love . . .” God also wants us to have patience when people make mistakes or don’t do things exactly the way we want them to.  Colossians 3:12-13 declares, “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Time and time again, in the Scriptures, we see that OUR GOD is patient and forgiving.  Psalm 86:15 “But thou, O LORD, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” How very grateful we can be that God is patient with US! Should we not, therefore, strive to be patient with others?!
     For some people, the month of December places life in a sort of “holding pattern”, before January 1st rolls around.  It can be a difficult time of hoping for answers.  Are you, perhaps, waiting to see if you will have enough money to return to college, next semester?  Are you prayerfully seeking the Lord about a missions opportunity, in the near future?  Sometimes we have to patiently wait for God’s will to be fulfilled in our lives.  Romans 8:25,28 “But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it . . . And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
     As a teacher, and later as a daycare worker, I was often told, “You must have a lot of patience to work with preschoolers!”   Patience in one area of life does not necessarily denote patience in other areas, however! LOL!  I will look out the window some dozen or more times, when I know my husband is expected home.  I check for email or Facebook replies, FREQUENTLY.  I tend to become quite irritable, if I’m waiting for someone, any more than 10 minutes past the time agreed upon.  Patience is not something that is learned and then “marked off a list” of desirable character traits.  It is a CONTINUAL struggle.  James 1:4 “But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  Patience takes time! And what better time to work on developing it, than this busy holiday season! SMILE!  Take a deep breath, wait for God’s answers, be patient with loved ones as well as strangers, and have a very Merry Christmas! SMILE!


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