Saturday, December 23, 2023

Fruit of the Spirit: Patience


This was one of the first things I read this morning:

"Take time today to journal or reflect with God on what you’re waiting for. Be honest and vulnerable with Him about how you feel and why. He wants to hear your cries and hold your heart, so surrender to Him and think about how you can wait patiently in trust instead of impatiently in fear.


Yesterday evening and through the night were hard.  Sometimes, the devil just attacks when you least expect or want him to.

This morning, I woke up with a prayerful mind and to a conversation from one of my two prayer partners waiting for me.

I met Bob a few years ago.  Although we have never met in person, Bob and I have grown to become very close and to love each other.  We walk each other through the valleys and celebrate each other's praise moments.

I have come to depend on Bob, and he knows this.

I was so happy when I woke up this morning and found Bob waiting on me.  Of course, he didn't know last night was hard for me or that I had come under attack, but he was there to listen - as I was for him - as he shared his day's events with me as well.

One of the last things I said to Bob this morning was, "Oh great.  Today's lesson starts a teaching on the Fruit of the Spirit - Patience.  Why did God save that lesson for today? Sigh."

I knew this was no accident.  God's plan(s) for our lives are no accident.  He had this series scheduled right on time.

I am at a point now in my relationship journey when I am learning to accept what has been handed to me.  I am trying to forgive my ex-Partner for some of his acts against me and to love him despite what he became inside our relationship at the end.

I am trying to actively not fill the "David hole" (the hole David left inside my life and heart) with anyone else.  I'm not looking for that, and I don't want a "quick fix."

I want the "David hole" to be filled with Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the love of God.

But it's SO not easy.  

Right now, I am trying very hard to not displace feelings of friendship into this "David hole."  Mainly because I want the next person that God gifts me to be their own person and not just a mere filler.  I want the next person to do the pursuing and be a true gift from God.

I'm not a "show me a sign God" kind of person, but over the past few weeks, I have given God this task.  I'm sure He laughed when I presented this option to Him and each time after that when I've reminded Him what I need from Him in order to move forward and be a "success."

I've asked Him to "give me a sign" (a very specific sign and set of words) to know if something is right and from Him.  Apparently, I have trust issues with God (and probably myself if I'm being honest) and thus, the study on patience shows up right on time...

Yes, I am fully aware you do not give the Almighty God of the Universe commands or tell Him what to do - but as I learned this morning, PATIENCE - the fourth Fruit of the Spirit - also comes with a healthy dose of fear.  Fear pushes us to ask for concrete evidence so we don't keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

We've gotten so accustomed in this day of technology for instant gratification, we are afraid when God doesn't answer us immediately (or at all) that we won't get the answer we are looking for or maybe He has forgotten or not heard us.

And I don't want to trip and fall - again.  I am tired of relationships with broken people - people that are addicted to pornography, people that have an unhealthy attachment to their child, or people that are nestled within a family of addiction and aren't strong or healthy enough to break through the enmeshment.

I don't want to learn about patience Lord.  I just want the "David hole" healed and the roller coaster of emotions to stop.

And I don't need to misplace any tiny feelings I'm having right now into that cavernous hole.  I need to first find out what God is or isn't sending along.

Are these tiny, small feelings from God or are they human in nature trying to fill a hole left behind by another person?  I need to be secure in knowing who God is bringing into my life right now.  I need any beginnings to be built on a healthy foundation of God's love and permission.

Human nature makes it so hard to practice this Fruit of the Spirit.  Patience is hard.

We must learn to daily surrender what we are craving and longing for - whether it is a Godly relationship, a new job, or healing.  God operates on His own schedule, and His wisdom will always be greater than our own.

I read this a little while ago, and it just struck me for this moment in my life:

"We cannot possibly live this life for God if we don’t keep our eyes on Him, which is why the word used for wait here has also been translated to hope and trust. Waiting is intrinsically connected to trust and hope. When we wait on someone, the reason we can wait is because we trust they will show up or come through. When we hope in something, we’re waiting with expectation and anticipation because we trust in whatever or whoever we’re hoping for. Therefore, the way we wait matters. If we wait impatiently and with a restless heart, then we’re not waiting with faith and trust in God. If we wait patiently, we wait with a peace that transcends all understanding because we know and trust the God who ultimately holds the whole world, including us, in His hands.

On our own, impatience and frustration in waiting is our innate reaction. With the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, waiting patiently and with trust becomes more natural. We will never be perfect in this, but we will begin to recognize more quickly that we must daily surrender and commit our trust to the Lord. And as we continually wait on the Lord, He will give us strength to walk, run, and soar without growing faint or weary!"

Filling the hole left from David is challenging.  I am definitely struggling.  My human nature and my human heart want back what I lost - a loving relationship, a comfortable relationship, and a person to do life with.  But my Spirit nature and my Spirit heart know that God did what was best for me.

David was incapable of providing what I needed, and God needs to work on David to heal and free him from the enmeshment of addiction.  That's something only God can do.  I can't.

My human heart wants to fill the hole David created and left, but I know because I am a Christian and am filled with the Holy Spirit, I have to be patient - wait, hope, and trust - that God is working.  I can't misplace feelings I might be starting to feel right now into David's hole of emptiness - that would be a disaster.

So, I wait - and I ask God to help decipher my situations.  I'm not sure God will abide with my request, but I also don't want to be that person sitting on the roof of their flooded house missing all the open doors God has sent to rescue me.

If God sends someone along, that I am at least allowed an opportunity to "peek behind the curtain" with, I hope I am able to identify any signs God provides.  I pray that the next person God opens a door towards getting to know better can give clear directives so I don't miss them.

Right now, until that person comes along or is brave enough to speak, I pray God reminds me daily that the "David hole" has to be filled with Him and the peace of the Holy Spirit.

I really don't want to start this new series learning about patience, but I figure God knows what He is doing.  He knows it was time.

Yesterday evening and last night were hard.  I need to let go of some things.  I need to exercise patience (something I have never been any good at).  And I need to wait on God to provide the sign I've requested and am waiting on.

I love this prayer from my study this morning.  It really reflects the heart we should be striving to obtain:

"Father, I know You are trustworthy, but living in that is not always easy. Today, I surrender all these things occupying my heart and mind to You because You already hold them and know them. I want to walk in patience and trust instead of impatience and fear, so I ask You Holy Spirit for help. I will wait on You because You promise to strengthen me and answer me. You have my best interest in mind. I love You and trust you! Amen."

I pray this prayer helps you this morning.  I'm going to copy and paste it into my daily thoughts journal.  I want - no, I need to reflect upon it constantly.

My prayer is that our Heavenly Father will help us gain more patience in our quests for the things we are seeking.  That we surrender all our thoughts and emotions to HIM.  May we not misplace humanly feelings for things and people to a place where we are empty and think need filling.  May we wait patiently on God and trust Him to remove impatience, and in the event, He does bring the things we feel and desire into our pathways and lives - may He give us the intellect to recognize them and accept them as the good and perfect gifts they are.

I don't want to be wrong again.  I want to have full trust and patience in a God that is perfect and only desires perfect things for me.

My past has shown I am not always a good judge of choices, neither by or for myself.  This time, God, grant me the patience to hear you, listen for you, and wait for the perfect gift to come.

I love you Lord, and I surrender my heart to you today.  Please protect it.  Please guard it.  And please let it only open to those you are giving to me.

In Jesus name, amen!

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