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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Be Patient

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. — Psalm 37:7 (ESV)
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. — Colossians 1:11 (ESV)

A few years ago, I spoke with a friend of mine. It was more than a casual conversation. It was deeper than “How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?” He went beyond the surface, exposing a painful – and unjust – experience he was facing.

His desire to take things into his own hands to right this unfair situation was evident. Although it’s prudent to seek patience in awkward and painful situations, I’m aware of how commonly that advice is offered to someone who is impatient.

“Just be patient” is often heard as a platitude that conveys a spiritual quality which, in the moment, we lack. We know we need to be patient! However, we find it almost impossible to wait, let alone accept that an unjust situation may have value for us.

In 2016, both of my daughters were battling cancer. Despite days of weakness and fatigue (nausea, aching joints and bones, and ravishing anguish of body, mind, and soul) each of them was a model to me of what it means to be patient.

Were they angry? Yes! Were there days when they would’ve liked to quit? Yes. However, they courageously rose beyond their anguish, re-focused their anger, and patiently endured the process before them.

The Psalmist understands that discovering “stillness” before the LORD encourages us to “wait patiently for him.” Though we don’t understand why, although our situation does not seem just, I choose to wait in stillness before the LORD.

Paul prays for the Colossian believers to be “strengthened with all power – to patiently endure, with joy.” To have the ability to tolerate pain or trials without complaint, to bear up under severe provocation, and to have the self-control to keep from acting rashly always requires patience greater than our own.

For my daughters, Rhonda and Rochelle: Thank you for being patient in your suffering.

For my friend: May God grace you with His power to endure!

For each of us: May our circumstances produce patience and HOPE for today!

Are you looking for a place to receive spiritual direction and encouragement in these challenging times? Please consider joining my mailing list. Each Wednesday you’ll receive my latest blog posts with practical content designed to support you in your life and faith.

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