Updated: Jan 4, 2021
Patience is a gift that works incredible magic on us. In fact, we become transformed by patience. The gift of not getting what you want when you want it is that God then establishes authority over your life. We must seek the Lord for what we need in life. (Psalm 121:2).
Ahh…we are entering that time of year when we stop to reflect on all the twists and turns in our lives over the past year. The year 2020 is one for the history books! For me, it has nothing to do with the global viral attack of Covid-19, or the U.S. presidential elections spectacle, it is something more heartfelt, it was my first year without my Dad. I was reminiscing about my Dad as I was driving one morning, admiring the beautiful white fluffy snow that had fallen the previous night. I reached a stoplight and glanced down at the dashboard to check the temperature when suddenly, I heard a car horn blowing insistently jolting me out of my reverie. I immediately looked up to see the stoplight had turned green. It was clearly apparent that the car behind me was not happy that I had not moved swiftly. Instinctively, I glanced in the rearview mirror and saw a lady in an expensive SUV waving a fist and gesturing wildly for me to get moving! I mused that I could not have spent more than a second glancing at the temperature, but I just smiled and started to ease on down the road, singing the song playing on the radio. She sped by me of course and as she did, I said a small prayer for her to have safe travels as it was snowing, and roads were slick and also wished her a blessed day.
In this particular situation, I know the Lord was present as He put the right thought in my mind of calmly thinking about my Dad, such that I was able to easily show empathy to the other driver and just brushed my shoulders off and kept on reveling and singing and admiring God’s beautiful creation. Over the years, I have learned not to take everything personal because I do not know what is going on in another person’s life, so your actions are not my actions. Not so long ago, a situation like this would have made me “angry” or “upset” but, I know now that being reactive to those types of feelings would only have made a situation worse. It is so hard to control your emotions, especially when you feel provoked. Seems like no matter how hard you try, something or someone manages to push your buttons to the max and your temper gets the best of you. Breathe, just breathe…"Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly" (Proverbs 14:29).
When it comes to expressing anger, we need to first accept that it is normal to have the occasional and righteous outburst when faced with questionable behavior. With inappropriate anger, we all must learn to manage it before it manages us. We can conquer these behaviors by exercising God’s gift of patience. "A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention" (Proverbs 15:18).
Patience is the fourth fruit of the Spirit which refers “to the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty, or annoyance without getting angry or upset." In the book of Galatians 5: 22-23, we read, ‘But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
The entire year of 2020 has people bouncing off the walls. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Everything has been impacted. How we live and interact with each other, how we work and communicate, how we move around and travel. Every aspect of our lives has been affected. But if your feelings get the best of you, take a deep breath and remove negative thoughts out of your mind. God is in control. So, read, Psalms 121:2 at the beginning of this article as well as heed this scripture, "Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer" (Romans 12:12).
Whenever we need something — to cool down or ask for help — we should turn to prayer. It is our way of communicating with God, and he is always ready to listen. If you are feeling impatient in your faith, now is the time more than ever to trust in the Lord. He will guide us all to salvation, we must wait for the day with willing hearts. By being patient and taking a deep breath, you are more likely to diffuse any and all situations. Be calm, pray, and think, "What would Jesus do?"