Monday, October 4, 2010

Love: The Foundation of Patience

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.

4 comments:

Rich said...

Aida,

Our ability to rest (from all that tries to distract us) is continually discovered by the unfolding revelation of Truth. The Truth says to us in each of our unique settings, "I AM you rest, patience, joy, peace and all that you will ever stand in need of."

The noise, static and rhetoric that continually pummels our soul is what tries to distract us from the growing knowing of who and whose we are.

I don't know that it was ever about us doing, achieving anything perfectly, as much as it was and is about experiencing the perfectness of His love that in turn frees us to relax-rest, and out of that flows the perfect one in us as us! And that opportunity awaits us as each new day comes our way.

I loved your thoughts, it thrills my heart to see my siblings becoming ever more aware and in-tune with what "is" and not what was or what is yet to be!

Aida said...

Rich, I love how you emphasized that Truth is continually growing and unfolding. It’s never a one time revelation but it is continuous. I think understanding that has helped me to relax.

I’ve come to understand that I’ll never do it all perfectly and, accepting that, has freed me to find him in the middle of my circumstances, even in my mistakes. As I’m learning to accept my imperfection, I see myself being more willing to accept the imperfections of others.

Thanks for commenting, Rich. I always enjoy and am encouraged by what you have to say.

Simone said...

Aida,

Thank you so much for sharing this! I know I am reading it 2 years after you wrote it, but it truly blessed me today. This is something I have been striving to master. Remembering to see my loved ones hearts in moment I need to be patient with them. I normally pray and God reminds me of what I need to do. I really need to automatically (or a bit faster than how I do not) see their hearts and patience take over my emotions when a situation happens.
This blog has truly blessed me today, and I pray God blesses you trifold!

Aida said...

Simone, you have encouraged me greatly with your comment and I’m so glad that what I wrote blessed you. Truth is truth and time doesn’t diminish it so thank you for reading and commenting on my “old” post.

Seeing a person’s heart has changed how I look at them but it’s not something I always automatically do. Sometimes (more than I care to admit), I fall into the old pattern of judging by a person’s behavior rather than looking at their heart and seeing the “injured child” in them. I think we all have an “injured child” in us and, when we can see that child in others as well as in ourselves, patience automatically comes out and it begins its perfect work.

Once again, thank you for your comment. I hope I’ll hear from you again.