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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Ingredient of Patience

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Author Biography

    Tracy loves working from her Tennessee home as a leader for CBN's prayer center. She's a pastor's wife who finds fun in reading, hiking in the mountains and teaching lively group fitness.

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Tracy Swager - Prayer Center Director

Patience is not my strong suit. Nope, not at all. How about you?

The longer something takes to come about, the more I think I need to help it along. I’m sure you can imagine some of the ways this has bitten me through the years, especially with cooking. I can cook... but my lack of patience and occasional distractedness do not make for a good result.

Like that time I put the garlic toast in late. Everything else was ready. Surely it would be okay to turn up the broiler over the bread in the oven while I set the table. Oh, and got the drinks. And served the plates. What’s that smell? You guessed it! I burned the bread.

Or when I didn’t have much time on my lunch break, so I turned the burner up under the pot of chili. I really was going to stand right there and watch. But I needed to water my plants. As I put them in the sink to drain, I could hear something ding in my inbox. I’ll just take care of that quickly. What’s that smell? Scorched chili.

My lack of patience, I’m sure, has many times brought a scorched stench up to the nostrils of God. As He matures the fruit of the Spirit in me, I’m confident that patience will be among them and produce a beautiful fragrance of worship. I’m inspired when I consider the patient worship and waiting on the Lord of Simeon:

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. (Luke 2:25-26 NIV)

When I think of Simeon, I’m inspired by his waiting for the Lord’s promise. There was nothing he could have done to speed it along. Yet, he believed. He got older, and older. Yet, he believed and waited patiently for the Lord’s promised outcome. Patience like that is worship. And then, he held the Messiah in his arms.

I desire that kind of patient and confident waiting for the Lord, and that His promises would characterize my walk with Him. I long for the day that I can move when God says “move,” but when He says “not yet,” then I can be still. Until then, I’m grateful for God’s mercy over my missteps and His grace when I try to help His promise along because I think He’s taking too long.

What are you waiting patiently for? Or perhaps, are you are seeking the Lord about a matter and struggling to be patient? Be encouraged. The Lord keeps every promise.

Thank You, Lord, that You are faithful to keep Your promises. Please grow the fruit of Your Spirit in us, so we can patiently await Your action when You’ve called us to be still. Help us to not “help You” by acting when You have not called us to act. We declare our trust in You and Your timing. May our patient trust in You be a fragrant offering of worship, as incense. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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