Posted by: Cathi Brese Doebler | March 24, 2009

Perfect patience

“Will they be here soon?” my son kept asking, as he waited for his cousins to arrive at our house. A small lesson in patience was occurring that day, as my sons tried to amuse themselves and watch for their cousins van to arrive at the same time. An hour later a squeal of delight, followed by the pounding of running feet, and the cry of, “They’re here! They’re here!” told me that they had arrived.I have often struggled with patience myself, both as a child, and now as a parent. Patience is always something I can improve on.

As believers, we are asked to demonstrate patience with others. Paul, who was imprisoned several times in the service of Christ, wrote to his friends in Ephesus from prison. In Ephesians 4:1-2, he wrote, “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love.”

This makes me feel humbled. If Paul could talk about loving others, and having humility, gentleness, and patience from behind prison walls, it should be so much easier for me to be patient when I am free!

Unfortunately, human nature and sin are a tough battle, and I sometimes lose my patience at the beginning of the battle. Because of this, I am so thankful for God’s endless forgiveness of my sins. Again Paul gives sound assurance in God’s grace when he wrote 1 Timothy 1:15-16, “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in Him for eternal life.”

I love the part that says “Jesus Christ might display His perfect patience,” because I am reminded that when I am patient with others, it is because of His help. I can count to 10 a million times, or breathe deep to try to calm down, but if Jesus is not present, my emotions are not grounded in the same way. I am so thankful for His help. “I thank Him who has given me strength,” 1 Timothy 1: 12.

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