I’m pretty good at practising patience *first thing* in the morning. So as my 2-year-old daughter was having her first major meltdown of the day as we were driving along, I was prepared and was able to keep true to the verse of James 1:19; ‘Be slow to anger, slow to speak, but quick to listen.’
All the while the decibels were increasing from the back of the car: ‘No, I’m NOT talking to Mummy!’ (among other shouts and throwing of toys).
Calmly I reiterate, ‘I am here for you when you want to talk to Mummy and tell me what the matter is.’ I carried on driving; listening to the same thing repeated and then the squealing, piercing sound finally woke up my sleeping baby next to her. *Breathe*. Patience. I had this under control. After 5 long minutes the crying stopped, and she calmly told me what the matter was (I clearly don’t have good taste in music and a simple change of song would have solved the issue quickly).
I’m not writing this to show how good my patience was, because I am so often not patient and don’t do things right. However as the temper tantrum was prevailing in the back and before my pride was able to swoop in and I put on my badge of ‘excellent parenting’, I was prompted by the Holy Spirit.
He gently reminded me that this scenario is usually me, and how I respond to God. Putting myself in my daughter’s shoes, I was able to relate that I so often shout and scream at God, blaming him for this and that- I sin against God. I don’t listen to God’s calming voice and I don’t hear His ‘I love you’ through the loud stamping and stropping of my own feet. However, when I am willing to stop my strop, I realise all along He is always there, ready and waiting to listen and talk to me. He is patient. He is kind. He is caring and loving and perseveres for me, patiently waiting for me, his daughter, to turn back to him. He is therefore my example as to how I should be with others: Show patience.
Can you identify? Will you help me to remember to be patient with others as the Lord is patient with me? And I will do the same for you. Iron sharpens iron. So let’s encourage to be patient with each other, bearing with each other in love. Then the world will know we are His disciples!