Patience. I want it NOW, or maybe in the next few breaths, before my face turns a shade of red that would cause a paramedic to shudder upon approach. My husband and I, together have begun to work through the devotional book, “Praying the Attributes of God”, by Ann Spangler, and I mean ‘WORK’ through it. One does not merely ‘read’ when you open your heart and mind to transformation. We just finished the week-long journey of patience, looking at God’s patience with us. OH MY GOODNESS! “The Lord, the Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” – God, Exodus 34:6
In short, God does not grow frustrated with us like we do with others, things circumstances or … ourselves. Taking all the geeky (good stuff) and putting it in a nutshell, patience can be translated ‘long-souled’ indicating ‘to be long of feeling, delay one’s anger.’ (YES GOD! Be long-souled with ME!) Quoting, Ann, “God is calling us to be long or large in spirit, willing to exercise faith WHILE we wait for Him to act.” (emphasis mine) Act God!
I have studied patience extensively, but implementing it consistently is a whole other realm, like that of a Sci Fi novel. It takes twists and turns, facing new beasts demanding strong use of weaponry, (can you ‘see’ it?) In the devotional, at the end of the focus on patience, we were asked a few questions, one of which was: “On a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest, how would YOU rate your ability to be patient? What would you do to improve your score?” THIS, invoked great discussion for Mark and I, (love that man!) The first thing that came to mind for me was, ‘Tangled Hangers’, NOTHING makes me more frustrated then tangled hangers, at times I am sure I may lose my salvation over the anger that quickly rises within me, when I reach for one, ONE thing, they tangle and others come tumbling out and fall to the floor. ALAS, my score ‘might’ hit a 1 1/2 at that point. This imagery has been with me this pass week or so, asking how can I ‘get out of the frustrated arena, easily reach and not get tangled?’ Isn’t it true of our lives at times, we are SO busy, our mind so full, that when we ‘reach’ for one thing, the thing needed or wanted, it all comes tumbling down. To answer the question, “How can I increase my score?” CLEAN OUT THE CLOSET! (I know, DUH!) The same is with our lives, clean out, get rid of, grow pass all the ‘stuff’, so when we (or God) reaches for something, it is ‘well with our soul.’ We don’t fall to pieces, it is easier, accessible and we get to keep our salvation (just kidding).
“Thank you God for being so very patient with us, willing to allow us to grow and learn. Move – ACT in and through us, we invite YOUR attribute, we welcome YOU, may Your Spirit help us, with … us. May we this week, sense Your whisper as we reach, granting us the strength and wisdom to clean out the ‘stuff’, make life easier and not so cluttered, reducing our frustration. In Your most powerful and loving name, Jesus. Amen”
Tangled hangers – no problem. God.
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)