Ahhhh….patience. Sometimes just the word itself can give me the heebie jeebies, not to mention the action it requires. Surely I am not alone in this!
I grew up in the church hearing saints say things such as, “I refuse to pray for patience,” or “I will never pray for patience again!” Then there were the holier saints who would say, “Now, Sister, patience is a virtue,” or “God is wanting to teach me to wait on Him so I’m praying for patience.”
I remember witnessing some of those saints that prayed for patience go through trials and tribulations almost immediately. If that’s what praying for patience got you then I wanted no part of it! So I decided to join the first group of saints.
Of course I was a teenager when I made that decision. I have since matured, not only physically, but spiritually. I began to read the Bible to get to know the author and not just to check it off my To Do List. I began to form a relationship with God that became more than just 3 church services a week. I fell in love with Jesus, the Savior of my soul.
In that process of spiritual growth (that thankfully continues daily) I started to look back over my teenage years and see things from a different perspective. I began to study those same saints with a new appreciation. They didn’t just go through trials and tribulations. They survived them! I realized patience and waiting on God made sense and helped them see the light at the end of the tunnel. I felt a twinge of guilt for the stance I had taken.
If you’ve never dealt with head lice, bless your soul. If you have, then you completely understand where I’m coming from.
This Mama went through the stages of grief faster than a getaway car at a bank robbery! There were tons of tears while cutting off several inches of thick, tangled hair to ease the process of cleaning it, yet we still weren’t done until midnight. And we can’t forget all the store bought and natural remedies (the smell of mayonnaise in your hair takes forever to go away!), along with endless laundry.
Now don’t get me wrong, I know we aren’t above head lice. That’s not the issue. The issue is the effort you have to put in to getting rid of it! Especially when it does not want to go away. It’s quite costly and extremely time consuming. One might even say it demands…*ahem*…patience.
It was on a Tuesday and she had to miss school the rest of the week. And although I had taken precautions by treating my own hair, my husband still ended up having to clean and scrub my scalp because they had somehow survived enough to show up in my hair anyway. It was a nightmare.
That following weekend, I had more tears of frustration streaming down my cheeks as my husband took the time to comb the nits out of my hair. I looked up into his eyes and said, “This is all my fault. I decided to pray for patience last week.” Then surprisingly, we both began to laugh.
We love the Happy Goodmans and had been listening to Vestal sing “Won’t it be Wonderful There” earlier in the week. At that point I started to sing it, however, I changed the lyrics from “Won’t it be wonderful there, having no burdens to bear” to “Won’t it be wonderful there, having no lice in your hair!” The girls joined in the singing and giggling with us. It felt amazing to have laughter through the tears.
I began to appreciate my spiritual maturing all the more because I was able to see God’s hand, even in the trial. Praying for patience may have opened the door for extra testing, but I believe being brave enough to pray for it allowed us to find joy in the midst of a stressful situation.
That being said, once it was all over and done with and nary a nit was to be seen, I decided to rejoin the first group of saints and no longer felt guilty about it.
I truly believe it was a lesson in which God revealed to me why it isn’t necessary to pray for patience. He showed me two reasons straight from the Bible that are so simple, I should have already known. And I am going to share these Biblical truths with you right now!
Are you ready?
The Bible tells us that we are to be walking in the Spirit, not the flesh. If we are walking according to the Spirit, then we should be producing the fruit of the Spirit, patience included! Therefore, we should already be walking in patience because we are followers of Christ, not having to pray for it to show up.
I don’t know about you all, but my faith isn’t perfect. It is tried quite often, and according to James, that means patience is being produced.
Remember when I said I formed a relationship with God? Remember when I mentioned falling in love with Jesus, His son? Because of that, His Holy Spirit is my teacher and takes me to scriptures in the Bible, giving me understanding. For that I am beyond grateful. It’s freeing to know that I don’t have to pray for patience…instead I am expected to apply the Word and practice it.
Instead of praying for patience, we should be practicing it.
I’m not saying that you should never pray for patience, but to this day when someone mentions patience, Adah is quick to tell them, “If you pray for patience you’re gonna get head lice!” 😉
*Disclaimer– This article is in no way meant to lessen the true hardships people go through. I could never compare the frustrations of head lice to the death of a loved one, divorce, etc. In the grand scheme of life, a week of dealing with head lice was no big deal. However, I do believe that God will see you through even those true hardships and give you joy and peace in the midst of hurt and chaos.
**Author’s note: I was very blessed to have my mom, Ann, and friend, Lynn, help with the process of treating our heads and home during that dreadful week. I would have been insane without them! Also, it was the ONE time in my life I remember being caught up on laundry. I believe God knew I needed to be caught up so I wouldn’t be that much more behind when it came time to wash all the bed clothes, etc. He takes care of even the smallest details.
My One Word 2014 was “Fruit”. What I love about having a One Word for the year is that it doesn’t go away when that year is over. Once you’ve spent a year focusing on that word and why you picked it, it’s bound to stay with you. It just allows you to soak that word into your spirit in a deeper way so that it sticks with you for the rest of your life, causing you to grow. That’s what is intended, right? You may not think on it every day, but it shows up when you need it. Makes me wish I had started having One Words sooner in life.
Having “Fruit” was a reminder for me to pay attention to what I’m putting out there (on a daily basis and in my overall life). Am I producing Godly and beneficial fruit? Or is the fruit I’m producing so rotten it stinks? That One Word had me focusing on my fruit and despite my New Year and new word, it’s a reminder that I’ll always need and appreciate. Sort of like my own accountability partner.
That being said, I want to be sure I am walking in the Spirit at all times, therefore producing fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.” (NKJV)
I don’t even come close to perfectly exhibiting any of these, and I am striving to do better with them all. However, I have a particularly rough time with SELF-CONTROL, my One Word 2015. I believe this is listed as a fruit of the Spirit because it is somewhat of an ugly word to our flesh.
Matthew 26:41 says, “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (KJV) This describes me to a T (whatever that means…)! my Spirit is oh-so-willing, but my flesh is the weakest of the weak, screaming, “LET ME HAVE MY WAY!”
It’s like John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (3:30 KJV) To deny/crucify my flesh so that the spirit is in control…that’s the only way self-control works…when there is MORE of Him and LESS of me. As long as I’m in the way, nothing will work out right. It is high time for me to take spiritual authority and force my flesh to submit. Will it be easy? Probably not. But if I want to produce Godly fruit, if I want His will over mine, then I have got to be obedient to the Father, NOT the flesh.
I’ve been trying really hard the last few months to get in shape. With the help of Plexus, I have lost 54 lbs since the last week of April. I also have less pain (MUCH less) from my joints/fibromyalgia issues. Since losing all that weight, I am feeling more inspired to embark on other paths to becoming healthier. I’m trying to get in an exercise routine, drink more water, and take better care of myself in other ways as well.
Now, in no way do I claim to be doing everything I can (though I would like to), but I am trying. I decided to put some scriptures to encourage healthy living up around the house in strategic places to remind me of the changes I am making. Since I was typing these up for myself, I thought maybe someone else would like to have a copy too.
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The reason I chose Galatians 5:22-23 is pretty self-explanatory, especially since I have self-control in a larger font than any of the other words. I am placing this passage on my refrigerator and inside the cabinet for our pantry. With this scripture in my face every time I feel like snacking, I can stop and think about what and why I am reaching for something to eat. Am I really hungry, or am I bored, thirsty, emotional, etc? Should I really be getting chips? Because occasionally that is okay, but maybe I should be cutting up some veggies instead. If I am reminded to use self-control with my eating, a lot of good can be done instead of “just this once” turning into “just this time every day at the exact minute”.
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Ecclesiastes 10:18 is going above my tv, and maybe inside my Kindle case. There are many times that I could be doing something active, but would rather do something else that does not use a single muscle. Now, as I stated above, I do have joint issues and fibromyalgia. However, that does not give me a free pass to never work out at all. There is also a kind of funny/embarrassing aspect to why I chose this scripture: I need to be reminded to do kegels. I don’t want my house leaking… I don’t think anyone else wants my house leaking either. In fact, it’s pretty frowned upon. 😉 No reason a few can’t be done every time I sit down in the living room, right?
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I am always beating myself up for my appearance. Saying that I lack self-esteem is an understatement. But I know deep down in my heart that I am beautiful in God’s sight. Proverbs 31:30 is going to be taped to the mirror on my vanity, so that when I am preparing to leave the house I will read those words and not walk out the door in a foul mood. It will also make me sing “That Kinda Girl” by DC Talk. Who doesn’t love a little memory from the Free At Last album in their day? If that doesn’t put me in a good mood, well, something must be really wrong that day.
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Can you guess where I will be taping John 7:38? If you guessed inside the fridge, you guessed right. This is for a couple of reasons: to drink more water and to remember who the life-giver is… and if I want to be healthy in this life I need to take care of His temple. I have always hated water. The taste, the way my stomach feels after drinking it, just everything. I don’t know why. But if I add a few flavor drops or infuse it with water, I handle it fine. Whatever it takes, I need to have more of it for many reasons.
Soon I may add more scriptures to encourage healthy living to my decor, but for now these are the 4 I am going to focus on. I still have a lot of weight to lose, but I know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Like how I through Philippians 4:13 in there? Did you see my post about that on our Facebook page yesterday? Maybe next I will put up some scriptures to encourage housework…)
To learn more about Plexus, click the blog button below or go directly to Alicia’s Plexus site by clicking here. I truly tried every route my doctor suggested for a few years without any success. This has been the only thing that has worked for me so far. An answer to prayer!
And just for fun…
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering*, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.”
One of the biggest things in scripture memorization (for adults, too) is repetition. Another big thing is music. Combine repetition with music and memorization comes almost without trying. I’ve found a song on the Fruits of the Spirit and my children love it! And let me just say, with the repetition involved, I knew the song and fruits after hearing it once. 🙂 I hope you enjoy this song as much as we have.
*We have learned ‘patience’ in place of ‘longsuffering.’