Monday, July 17, 2017


pa·tience   ˈpāSHəns/
  1. 1
    the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

Recently we have learned a new skill. Somehow our God, who knows all, knew that it would take this time in our lives for us to learn this new skill. That of practicing patience. 

I distinctly remember being a teen and having conversations with my dad about things that were troubling me. I wanted solutions to those things immediately. I didn't want to wait. His answer to me many times was "all in God's time". God's time was rarely fast enough for me at that stage of my life. Sometimes at this stage of our lives ... God's time isn't fast enough either.

Perhaps we are given these particular paths to walk as a lesson. We are capable of waiting. We are capable of watching. Along the way we learn that God sends people into our lives who can hold our hands while we wait. We aren't capable of doing it alone or through our own power.

I'm being vague for a reason and I apologize.

The definition above is from Google I believe. 

How does one accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset?

Delay. Traffic is a nightmare sometimes (depending on where you're living) and invariably the bigger the hurry the more red lights one meets. It doesn't do any good to get upset at the lights that are making your journey slower. I kind of get that. You'll get there when you get there. Doesn't pay to have stroke level blood pressure over something you can't do anything about.

Trouble. Does this sort of depend on the kind of trouble? Are there troubles that are easier to accept than others without getting upset or angry? Absolutely! We are human after all and each of us is affected differently by different troubles. This may be simplistic, but here goes. I miss my turn and say "oh well, do a u-ball and head back the other way". Jari needs to know exactly where he is going and needs it confirmed repeatedly on the way there. Miss a turn and the world is nearly coming to an end. I really don't care if I have to make a u-turn or go around the block. Even in this (to me little .. to him big), we are different. We deal with that trouble in a completely different way. 

So then how does one accept suffering without getting angry or upset? How does a person come to terms with the suffering of others without getting angry or upset? 

Just as grief has stages, I'm sure other things do as well. They must. I just don't know what they are. At the same time, this is grief. This is grieving. We have been placed in a position where we don't want to be and have needed to accept that place because there is nothing we can do about it. We didn't put ourselves there. We have certainly put ourselves in many predicaments throughout our marriage, this time it was a result of another persons actions.

Suffering. As I was working on this post, I searched the Bible for scripture related to both anger and patience. All of a sudden I understood why we were given this time of waiting. It was one of those light bulb moments. 1000 watt kind.

It isn't like I can say that on Tuesday of this or that month, I will give in to suffering. That sort of delay just isn't real. Nor can I say that I am a patient person while waiting for the suffering, because in reality I'm still not a patient person and I'm already suffering. However, when things aren't in your control ... you may as well just practice patience. Really, you might just grab an ulcer along the way but what's an ulcer in the grand scheme of life anyway?

The light bulb that dawned for me was this: had I not been given this time of waiting, I would have remained overcome with anger. We were given this time of waiting and learning patience so that we could act in love and not in anger. It has been quite the lesson for us. It may also continue being a lesson in learning as we aren't the ones in control. We are the like the kids at the end of "crack the whip". Someone else is in charge and we're just hanging on for dear life.

Practicing this new kind of patience.

While we wait, our hands grow a little gentler in that hold on the lifeline. We breath a little easier. We may even sleep a little sounder. Our trust in God grows and our capacity to love grows in ways we would have never imagined.

Just as love grows, empathy grows as well. I'm learning and it ain't an easy learn. Patience. Love. Empathy. All at the end of the whip.

If you are riding with a death grip on that life line right now ... keep hanging on. You are there for a reason.

Trust and be patient.

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