BY // Shanna Myers
It has often been said that you should never pray for patience. Why? Because you will be given an abundance of opportunities to practice it. If your experience is the same as mine, you know how true this is.
Yet, this may illustrate our challenge in genuinely understanding the process of learning patience. We all want patience, but we want to avoid the process of getting it. I know how I would like God to give me patience! I want to go through the drive-thru, order a super-sized helping of patience, and then drive off, good to go. Then, when it is gone, I can order more. Why can’t it work that way?
Well, because that is not how the Spirit of God works in us. Galatians 5 teaches that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. A fruit that is grown. Organically. Over time. Patience is not a #6 value meal delivered in the fast-food window. Maybe, then, the key to patience is not just asking for it but rather intentionally connecting to the fruit-growing Spirit at work in us.
It is an interesting relationship between a tree and its fruit. The tree is the sole source of nutrients for the fruit. An orange does not need to spend time trying hard to become an orange and asking the tree for its help again and again. Instead, the orange must keep a solid connection to the tree that provides everything needed to become a juicy, sweet orange. The relationship between the tree and the fruit is what matters.
With this in mind, let’s adjust our prayer a bit. Instead of asking God for patience, perhaps we can spend time praising God for being the source of all we need. Or can we ask for eyes to see how the Spirit is growing the fruit of patience in us daily? Finally, could we boldly ask that God’s patience would transform us personally and then abundantly flow into the relationships around us?
Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit at work in us and it grows abundantly as we stay connected to Him.