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I am an impatient person. I frequently get frustrated at life, my kids, my husband, and myself. With this, I most often start out my day with prayers for patience and then as each interaction with life happens where I lose my ever-loving-mind over a small or large infraction alike, I pray for patience. Does this happen to you? How often are you praying for patience? However, despite all of my prayers, I was not achieving victory over my emotions and my anxiety escalated daily in response.
This also frustrated me. I couldn’t understand why God did not answer this prayer. Why he didn’t give me patience. After all, every time I didn’t have patience I was sinning against my family with harsh words, punishments that didn’t fit the crime and a blowing off of steam which includes yelling at the top of my lungs and a variety of stomping and door slamming. It’s not a pretty picture and once the pressure was off I felt ashamed and even more confused. As a follower of Christ, we a given a helper…the Holy Spirit who indwells within us. The Bible tells me that the fruits of the spirit is “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.” So why is it that when something irritates me, am I NONE of these if the Spirit lives inside of me?
That is a question I’ve been asking God awhile, in the midst of these moments and after as I confess my sin. “Why are you withholding patience from me?? Why do you not help me in this area of my life?” Several days ago, I felt God telling me the answer and it’s this: We can never have enough patience. After all, I am a selfish person with nothing good in me. In my own works I cannot be patient enough. Despite how much I’ve tried and tried, I fail over and over again. Why? Because I was praying for ME to be patient instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to be my strength, to exhibit HIS patience in my life and these situations. When I started letting and asking the Holy Spirit for the HIS fruit to be in my life I have found victory. Yesterday, Hazel awoke early and because of this I had my morning Bible study with her. She fell asleep in her bouncer about the time the kids were charged with getting ready for the day and I set about my morning chore of making the bed and getting my contacts in. When I exited my bedroom I came up on the bouncer…empty. It would seem that Henry took it upon himself to carry her downstairs. Immediately my hackles were raised as he disobeyed several rules: 1. don’t wake the baby and 2: don’t carry Hazel around especially down stairs. I stalked downstairs and was seething, trying to not go all crazy on him. Shawn could even see the anger rolling off of me and told me he’d handle it when all of a sudden I felt calm and at peace. I still wasn’t happy with Henry but I didn’t have any desire other then to hug him and talk to him about the situation. I give all the glory to God in this because on my own I never would have done this.
Understand that this is an everyday thing though, not a one and done type of thing. In addition, it isn’t something that once we find victory in we never sin again, because again we are human. The devil is a lion prowling around to have his victories within us and we must be vigilant to allow the Holy Spirit to do his work within us.
Have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s victory in your life? In what area? If not, pray today that HIS peace would be evident in your life!!