This past December one of my friends suggested we each choose a word to focus on for the coming new year. I’m sure many of you have heard of this idea and perhaps some of you have chosen your own word for 2019. I didn’t have to think very hard to come up with my word. Patience.
It must be pretty important to have patience because it’s the first thing Paul calls for in his letter to the Corinthians when he is speaking about love. “Love is patient, love is kind.” 1 Corinthians 13:4 I know that if I was more patient I would be more kind, more loving, more appreciative of the hearts and feelings of the people around me. And I don’t think I’m alone in this. We live in a world of immediacy. You can order something on the internet from Amazon and have it delivered to you within hours. If you want to know the answer to a question you can look it up instantly on your smart phone. We live in such an immediate world that we have lost touch with what it means to be patient, to wait for something. Twenty years ago I was happy if my computer loaded a screen in five minutes. These days I get frustrated if it hasn’t loaded after five seconds.
But I don’t think that my word is one that I need to apply only to the way I treat those around me. I think God intends for me to apply it to myself as well. How patient are you with yourself? Yesterday I woke up and I could immediately that pressure in my head that tells me I’m going to have a grumpy day. That feeling usually makes me very frustrated and impatient with myself. I don’t enjoy walking around in a frump and being short with the people I love. Yesterday, instead of feeling impatient and frustrated I tried being more patient – with me. I remembered my goal of not pulling away from God in times of struggle and instead I turned toward him.
Yesterday I prayed “Heavenly Father, I ask today that your Spirit control my mind and heart. Help me to focus on you and your will and not on myself and my human weakness. Let me sing praises to you Lord for all of your blessings and let the heaviness of my heart be lifted up with my songs of praise. Let the enemy in my soul be washed away with the cleansing power of your unfailing love.” And then I was patient with God. I lifted up my problem to him and instead of demanding to immediately feel better, I told myself that it was okay to not feel okay and I left it in God’s hands and in God’s time. Yesterday his timing was pretty quick, because I felt better almost immediately and I went on to have a peace-filled day in which I loved and enjoyed each moment and blessing. Maybe next time it will take more time – but I will embrace that time, knowing that God cares enough about me to teach me something – to teach me patience.
Maybe you have a word for 2019. Have you thought about how can you use that word to deepen your relationship with your heavenly Father?
Meredith (song below)