Christ’s Closet: Patience

Read: 1 Timothy 1:12-20

This is the last bit of clothing from Christ’s closet. In past weeks I have been writing about the things that Paul encourages us to clothe ourselves with in Colossians 3:12. Patience is the last one. Interestingly enough I preached a message on this subject just a couple of weeks ago. You can find it at this link.

Patience is such a hard thing to “put on” in the morning when we know that everything in our culture is going to try to persuade us to be just the opposite. In the U.S. we are told that we should not have to wait on anything. However, patience holds many virtues that would serve us well in our faith, in our relationships, and in our success in life.

Vance Havner once said, “He who waits on God loses no time.” So often in the gospels we get the sense that Jesus was patient with people. In the 1st Timothy passage Paul says that Jesus was patient with him until he saw the light and came to find his salvation in him.

Perhaps this is why Jesus tarries in his return? He is patient with people and hoping that many more will come to find salvation before he returns to take his followers home to heaven. He is giving us time to bring our family and friends into his grace and see them become born again.

Time is important, we can’t be patient forever when it comes to people being saved. But we can “put on” patience as a part of our daily habit. We can be patient with other people and we can ask the Holy Spirit to help this become a part of who we are as a people.  In many instances we probably just need to slow down and enjoy the journey that God has put us on, instead of allowing our unfulfilled dreams or desires to gauge our contentment in life.

When we choose to be discontented, more often than not it is because we don’t want to wait on what God has for us around the next corner, or what God is maybe protecting us from that is around the next corner. Often times waiting ends up being a very good thing. It reminds me of the song we sang in church a couple weeks ago, “They that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings as eagles.” And may that be us!

Make it personal: Try being patient this week. Start small (on the highway) and work up to bigger things (with your children). As you cultivate that characteristic it will become more and more a part of who you are and what you put on each day.

Have a wonderful week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church