faith

How to be Patient when You’re Not

We’ve all been there. We’ve sat at the obnoxiously long red light.

Is it broken?! 

We’ve yelled with our inside voice (maybe our outside one), Come! On!

We play with the radio, maybe check our phone (even if we aren’t supposed to), and we can feel our blood pressure rise. Sitting still is not one of our strengths. We love multi-tasking and getting things done fast.

The doctor’s office is the same way.

How do you handle sitting thirty minutes past your scheduled appointment?

Do you find yourself checking your watch every five minutes?

Yep. Me too.

Ours is a culture of drive-throughs, fast-food, and microwaves. Cell phones allow communication at our fingertips any time, anywhere. Do you remember the days when our phones were only in our homes, and we had to wait to get home to check the answering machine or make the call?

Oh, the good old days (right?). Wrong! We love our fast paced world.

It’s hard to cultivate patience in 2018. 

We know impatience doesn’t feel good, and it’s not healthy. We also know that God has promised patience as one of the fruits of the Spirit. “For the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience . . . . ” Galatians 5:22. (This post is part of a series on the fruit of the Spirit. Click on the other fruits to read those posts and get the reading plans.) So . . . as Christians, why do we still fight impatience?

There is a reason.

If we struggle with impatience, there’s a root cause. It most likely involves a way of thinking that needs to be exchanged for His.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom. 12:2)

We’ll be diving into the Word in a moment, but first, here’s some wise tips to help us discover the culprits to our impatience.

How to be Patient When You’re Not

According to mindtools.com, If you experience the symptoms of impatience, your next step is to discover the true cause. Many of us have “triggers.” These could be people, phrases, or specific situations (like rush-hour traffic) that regularly cause us to enter an impatient frame of mind.

Make a list of things that cause you to become impatient. If you’re having trouble identifying your triggers, use these tips:

  • Stop and think about the last time you were impatient. What caused it? You can narrow this down to the root cause by using the 5 Whys technique.
  • Ask your family, friends, and co-workers about your impatience. Chances are that they know what gets you “wound up”.
  • Many people become impatient due to physical factors such as hunger, dehydration, or fatigue. Analyze your body the next time you start to feel impatient. A simple remedy might be a snack and a glass of water!

A deep breath in and slow breath out also helps. When you feel your heart racing and fear creeping in, breathe deep. Pray for grace. And trust God’s timing even in the little things.

My daughter and I recently were flying home from CA, and our flight was delayed (while sitting on the plane) for two hours! Impatience threatened, but what good would that have done? So, we waited because we had no choice. But we could  choose how we waited. We could allow ourselves to be cranky and upset or simply watch a movie, which we did.

The delay actually turned out to be a blessing because her husband and sister-in-law, on another flight, landed only minutes before and her father-in-law was able to pick us all up!

Don’t you love it when that happens?

Trusting God, asking for eternal vision into the situation, the bigger picture can help our patience grow in the little things and the big things.

Patience while Waiting on God

Let’s face it. None of us like it when God says to wait. We want the healing now. We want the baby now. We wanted the husband yesterday.

Anybody? What would you add to the “waiting on God” list?

. . . The dream to become reality?

. . . The calling to look like you thought it would?

. . . A family member to come to Jesus?

Yes, me too.

But patience does not mean “no.” Keep that in mind. If you tell your kids to be patient, you know the cookies will soon come out of the oven and be cool enough to eat.

Though patience means waiting, patience also comes with the promise of the answer. Click To Tweet

If God tells you to wait or to be patient, it’s because the answer is coming. Maybe not on your timetable, but it’s coming.

A good friend of mine wrote a book about patience with God. It’s called,

When God Says “Wait”: navigating life’s detours and delays without losing your faith, your friends, or your mind

Elizabeth Thompson writes:

A job, a true love, a baby, a cure. . .
We’re all waiting for something from God.
And the place between His answers can feel like a wasteland where dreams—and faith—go to die.
When we’re waiting, we wonder, “Why?”, “Why me?”, and “How long?”

But the truth? . . .
When God says, “Wait,” He doesn’t tell us for how long.
When God says, “Wait,” we face one of life’s greatest tests.
When God says, “Wait,” we have decisions to make.
When God says, “Wait,” we can control only two things: how we wait, and who we become along the way.

If you find yourself in one of these patience predicaments, I recommend her book.

Bible Reading Plan

The Bible has a lot to say about patience. Nothing heals us, calms us, gives us wisdom and grace like God’s Word. Come dig deep to live fully with patience.

Sneak Peek and Printable For You

Proverbs 19:11: A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.

  • How has the wisdom you’ve gained from past experiences helped grow patience during tough times? List times when God finally answered your prayer or came through for you. Does this give you patience for today?

 

Romans 2:4: Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

  • Does it help to know that God is patient with us? How does this affect your view of God?

 

Galatians 5:22-23: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance (patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

  • God gives all good things. Have you experienced a time when you had out of your ordinary patience?

 

Colossians 3:12: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

  • How do we do this? (Hint: read the verse above.)

2 Timothy 4:2:  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.

  • Who we should we be patient with according to this verse? Is there anyone you are trying to teach?

 

James 4:7:  Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (Hmmmm…not sure how this one got in the reading plan. It says nothing about patience except maybe it does . . . ) I’m trusting somebody needed this verse this week!

  • How can this scripture help us be patient?

 

2 Peter 3:15: Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. (LOVE THIS!)

  • What does the Lord’s patience mean? Take a deep breath. Write down what this means about our God.

 

Get the Bible Reading Plan Printable! 

 

A Kiss and a Promise

As a dear friend prayed for me the other day, she hesitated, and a nervous giggle escaped.

“Oh,” she said, “Um . . . you aren’t going to like the word that keeps coming to my mind as I’m praying for you.”

“What is it?” I couldn’t resist. If God is giving my prayer buddy a “word” it really doesn’t matter if I like it or not, I want to KNOW.

“Well . . . ” she hesitated. “”It’s the word patience.”

Now, normally when I hear that word I react like everyone else. I’m not a fan. Patience and wait are brother and sister in my book, and nobody likes to WAIT!

But this is the cool thing about words from God received during prayer; they do not burden but bring freedom or peace.

And that is what happened to me when my friend told me that God was telling me to be patient.

“I like it!” I responded, much to her surprise.

For the first time in my life the word patience grew wings. Rather than immediately thinking of having to wait, I felt hope.

You see, if someone tells you to be patient, that means whatever you are waiting for will come. The word wait doesn’t do that for me, but the word patience does.

“I feel like He’s given me a kiss and a promise with that word,” I told the ear on the other end of the cell phone. I could feel her relief and her smile.

Patience

Here’s our English definition:

Patience: the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
“you can find bargains if you have the patience to sift through the dross” (Google definition)
There are some important words in Google’s definition:
  • Acceptance
  • Delay
  • Finding treasures in the dross.
Acceptance brings me peace.
Delay means what I’m waiting for is coming . . . just not on my time table. But it is COMING!
And sometimes you have to be patient as you sort through the bad stuff to find the good.
There is good to be found in the waiting. In the trusting. In the living while you’re watching the red light.
Use that red light to start praying for the people in the cars around you. I bet it will turn green fast. 🙂

A Great Way to Start Your Day

Join my daily broadcast on Facebook. (Just follow me.) It’s live at 8:20 AM ET. Come on over to my kitchen and sit around my table for some soul nourishment as we dig deeper into each “bite” for the day. You can watch them later on YouTube too if that’s better for you.

 

I’m praying for you!

 

Digging Deep to find Patience,

Andy

 

PS. If this was encouraging, and you don’t want to miss any Bite of Bread reading plans and posts, subscribe today! You’ll receive a 22-Day Devotion on Psalm 119 called Finding the Beauty {Full} in God’s Word.Just click here to dig deep to live fully. 🙂 

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6 thoughts on “How to be Patient when You’re Not

  1. Andy…such small world! I came across this book and writer about a year ago. God was clearly saying “wait”. If only I had had patience to sit still trusting Him while He did miracles that my simple little hands could never do.
    Maybe I’ll go back and read this great book fully and learn that bit of patience that I would have liked to have had learned then.
    Love your posts!!
    Laura ~ 💗

    1. Hi Laura! It is a small world. She has written a second book “When God Says Go!” Maybe in a few years you’ll need that one! I’m excited about what God is doing in your life. Blessings!

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