When Patience is Anything But

Posted on June 10, 2020 by Catey Stover in Victory Call

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control… (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)


My appointment was for 7:00 AM.  Seven fifteen came and went, then 7:25, 7:30, and 7:40.  I kept checking my watch.  How long could it take when I was the first appointment of the day?  I also realized, while sitting in the dentist’s chair, there was another client across the hall in the same predicament that I was and the only dentist in the building was working on a third client.  So we waited.

Annoyed?  Oh, yes, I was.  How was it that the dentist’s time was more valuable than mine?  I had other places I was expected to be that day, and wasting time in the dentist’s chair, waiting, was not on my list.

“Lord, I know this is an opportunity to practice patience”  I uttered the prayer but failed to take my heart to task.

I was sharing this with my husband later in the day and he was telling me a story from earlier that same day.  He had to wait to check out at the store while the clerk blew up balloons for a display – ever so slowly, he added.  Annoyed?  Oh, yes, he was.

As we talked I realized anew that we can wait without being patient.  Waiting is not patience.  Patience is less about waiting than it is about our heart while waiting.

Sitting quietly, perhaps even smiling, while inwardly we are seething, grumbling and complaining is not patience.  We can wait without being patient but we cannot be patient without waiting.

Whether it is hyperactive children, heavy traffic, a long season of joblessness, a slow grocery clerk, or delayed dentists, there is an element of unpleasantness.

So what does a patient heart look like?  As we yield to Jesus to live His life through us, patience will look like Him, like His patience.  It will look like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control – in other words, the fruit of the Spirit as it rules in our hearts and controls us.  Patience is not merely waiting, it is waiting with a heart that is at peace, fully trusting God in the moment, with a gentle spirit not grumbling or complaining.

Unless, by His Spirit which dwells in us, Jesus is patient in and through us, we don’t stand a chance to do anything but wait.


Written By Diane Hunt: Diane Hunt serves on the board of America’s Keswick and provides ministry support from her home in North Carolina. She is also a biblical counselor and women’s event speaker. For more information about having Diane speak at your next event please contact her at dhunt@americaskeswick.org.

Think About This: “Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Augustine

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalms 103-107| You can download our 2020 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen. –Matthew 28:18-20

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.

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