We’re often told about the dangers of asking for patience. We’re warned that if we do, God will answer our prayers by zapping us with a string of terrible problems because patience comes as we learn how to endure problems without blowing up. However, the truth is we don’t have to ask for patience because we already have it. We don’t have to pray for it nor do we have to try to work it up.
Patience doesn’t come through standing tough in the middle of problems because patience is a fruit of the spirit. It’s an aspect of God’s nature and it was placed in us when he came to live in us. As children of God, we now have his nature so patience is now an aspect of our nature. Our new hearts are now filled with patience so all we have to do is let patience have its perfect work.
I believe the reason so many of us struggle with a lack of patience is because we’ve lost connection with our hearts. Our hearts are the seat of God’s life in us and, when we lose connection with our hearts, we block the flow of his life in and through us. So, even though we have patience, we’re not always patient.
Darin Hufford does a fantastic teaching that he calls “Consulting the Flame.” I love how he compares God’s love with a flame that burns in our hearts and , as we examine that flame, we can see what’s in the hearts of others. In his book, “The Misunderstood God,” Darin said, “Perhaps the most exciting revelation I came to understand when I fell in love with people was that patience comes through understanding. Understanding comes through love. When you truly love someone, whether a spouse, a child, or a friend, you understand his or her heart. And when you understand someone’s heart, you have patience.” (page 30)
When we see what’s in the hearts of others, we’ll understand why they behave the way they do and, when we understand, patience is produced as a by-product of that understanding but it all begins with love.
He also said, “Love is the same way. When you love someone, you will see the injured child in everything they do. Love’s eyes look beyond the flesh and into the heart. People who lack patience are blind to the heart. Love sees a person’s heart because love both originates in the heart and is directed toward the heart. When looking for patience, we must turn to love to find it.” (page 31)
I think Darin has said it well. Patience comes through understanding and understanding comes from love and love comes as we learn to see with our hearts. It is a process, however, so learning how to see with our hearts is not always automatic. It takes time to develop and even then, it’s a choice. I suppose while we’re in these earth suits, patience will never be fully developed but I believe we can grow in it as we learn to see with our hearts.
Wife, mother and grandmother who is coming to know this wonderful Father who loves us more than we'll ever know. I'm on a journey to discover truth and my passion is to share this truth so that together we might come to experience the fulness of life that Jesus came to give us.