Saturday, September 15, 2007


Sometimes I try to feed John something I KNOW he likes and he just won't let me get it in his mouth. He puts his arms up in front of his face and turns away, while I try to spoon around his arms and get a little chicken (or whatever) in. Eventually he gets a taste somehow and then is very compliant for the rest of the meal -- but only after I've gotten annoyed and impatient at his resistance.

I've always been an impatient person but only recently have I realized that this is a spiritual problem. Fortunately, we have a God whose patient love (1 Cor. 13) enters our hearts through his Holy Spirit (Rom. 5). Patience as a fruit of the Spirit had never caught my attention the way love or joy or others did, but now I think patience is a huge, key component of love. I want to love and accept John just the way he is, and that includes letting him sometimes set the pace for mealtimes and diaper changes, among other things.

I wonder how often sin is the product of impatience. If I'm impatient with a person, I may get angry at them and say or do something unloving. It's impossible to be compassionate and impatient at the same time.

If I'm impatient with God, I may take a shortcut to get something (even a good thing) that I want in my timing rather than wait for God's timing to be fulfilled. I hate waiting! I look forward to heaven when we will have all of eternity to enjoy everything good, rather than as now living in a time-bound world.

But I am willing to learn patience and to see waiting in a different light. Waiting is inevitable when you live in a universe bound by time; time is one of God's parameters for his creation and so it too is good. If we didn't experience life in time, we wouldn't have music (all the notes would have to happen at once!) or film or any kind of story. When I'm impatient I'm viewing time as a limitation, when really it is a structure that allows life to take shape.

A friend told me that God gives us children to teach us patience. School is in session!


Ruth said...

Kristi, you are so right! Impatience can be such a trap, especially when we excuse it as "just being human" instead of recognizing it as sin. And it seems to show up most often when we're dealing with those closest to us.

Connie said...

Hi Kristi,
I've enjoyed your blogs! It is so good to hear your voice in writing again!!! I struggle in this area a lot. I am a "get-er-done" kind of person ... it is interesting how God loves us so much to tailor our discipline/sanctification especially for us. I think He gives us these little gifts of children to teach us this.