Wondering why I chose a barn scene for our topic— ‘Patience’? Two reasons: First, if anyone, or any occupation, requires ‘patience’, it’s the farmer. The farmer knows patience is standard procedure. Spring patience for conditions dry enough to plant. Summer patience for rains regulated enough to avoid drought or flooding and Fall patience for cooperative harvest weather. No question; farming requires patience.
Honestly, my second reason for choosing a barn scene is ‘supply’. Essentially, I’ve created no new art—Oil, Acrylic or Ink—since last November. Almost everything I have left has already appeared in the past 73 weeks. Why? Mostly in response to my grandchildren, last December I began writing my ‘Memoir’. I’ve spent nearly all would-be ‘Art time’ devoted to this writing project. No, I am not finished. But I have made a couple decisions that could help balance Art creation and Memoir writing. We’ll see how it works out.
From last week’s Blog you know I’ve been a medical ‘patient’ for a couple months. (By the way, I suffer little to no debilitating consequences or restrictions from my two strokes. We are thankful!) God often uses my life circumstances, like this one, to focus my attention on a Blog Thought. This week it’s ‘Patience’. So, what is patience?
A dictionary definition goes something like this: “…the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” Sometimes the definition may expand to:
- the ability to wait for a long time without becoming annoyed or upset
- the ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or with difficult people
- the ability to give attention to something for a long time without becoming bored or losing interest
As I’ve been meditating/thinking about patience, it seems to me there’s another indispensable thought connected to patience—Hope. Think about it. Nearly any attempt at defining patience seems to carry in the back story of one’s mind a hope: Hope for a better and more desired condition than presently exists, whether or not we can clearly describe or understand it. I patiently wait for what I hope for:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12;
“But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if [since]we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.” Romans 8:24b, 25
“And so, after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.” Hebrews 6:15
I find it interesting that we refer to those in the medical profession as ‘practicing’ physicians and their clients are ‘patients’. The medical professionals have studied, are studying and will continue to study so their skills, though never perfect, will improve what they continue to practice. I wonder if sometimes medical professionals may wish their clients might also grow in their ability to be ‘patient’. It was William Shakespeare who said: “How poor are they that have not patience! What wound did not ever heal but by degrees?”
Followers of Jesus are not exempt from the temptation to be less than patient. It is a condition our spiritual enemy may attempt to use on us. In those times we need to hear God’s voice:
“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;” Psalms 37:7
I remember the story of the little boy who planted a bean in the ground with great hope for a beanstalk that would “reach to the sky”! So, each day, he would dig up the little bean to ‘see how it was doing’ then put it back into the ground. You know what happened. His lack of patience destroyed, or at least greatly diminished, the realization of his hope.
When lack of patience creeps into our lives—like Covet19—a good vaccine is composed of two indisputable truths:
First: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22,23
Second: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
“Be patient, then brothers, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” James 5:7, 8
Be Patient, God is in charge. He loves you!