13 May Patience
Read Philippians 4:10-13
Thought for the Day: Patience is possible with Jesus’ help!
I have learned to love schedules and routines. Many things are expected of me as a husband, father, teacher, and pastor. When I take on a new project or am assigned a new task, it is helpful for me to think through what is required, make a plan, and schedule it out. This is true whether I am taking on the challenge of helping my daughter learn to walk, working to turn my disaster of a front yard into a lawn, writing a sermon, or designing specialized curriculum. I have a poster in my classroom that says “every problem is solvable” and I tend to live with this mentality. Unfortunately, this mindset (while great for productivity) has led me to historically struggle with patience. Rather than viewing everything as having its own timing and season, I can default to seeing everything as a problem to be solved. As you can imagine, this can have some pretty disastrous results.
As I have grown, I continue to learn that patience is not only a virtue but also a perspective. When I stay in my default “every problem is solvable” mode, buckle down, and try to plow through life’s challenges, I end up relying on my own strength and resolve to get me through. As with any of us, human strength has a limit. When we start a new venture, we may feel initial strength but grow increasingly impatient. Our limited perspectives can only take us so far.
We are offered a much better way. Rather than leaning on our own understanding, Jesus invites us to let Him guide our lives and change our perspectives. When we feel worn out, Jesus gives each of us the opportunity to take a step back, pray, listen, and receive strength. Patience is learning to understand the words of the Apostle Paul as he tells us, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” While our limited understanding can lead each of us to think we need to will our way through problems, we are instead invited to allow Jesus’ perfect perspective to shape our thoughts, decisions, and actions. Let’s learn that patience is not just something we teach children or model to students at school. Instead, patience is the willingness to change our perspectives and see that real strength comes from relying on Jesus.