Why You Should (Not) Pray For Patience

I have decided that, sometimes (in special cases), I am an idiot.  I’m not talking about doing stupid things.  I’ve done plenty of that.  But I’m talking about those times when I continually decide to do the same thing, hoping that the results are different.  I guess that’s the definition of insanity, isn’t it?

The case I am talking about is praying for patience.  Really, who even does this?

We all know that when you pray for patience, God doesn’t just change who you are and suddenly you are a more patient person.  He wraps this virtue up in struggles, be it difficult situations, people, or just really long lines.  Sometimes, He just tells us to wait.  And waiting is a crime in our “Go! Go! Go!” society.

I’m an idiot because I keep on praying for patience, even though I know God wont just hand it to me.  I keep asking people to pray for me, to ask God to provide me with the patience to see this journey through (I guess in the hopes that if God doesn’t hear it directly from me, He wont test me as hard?).

I think everyone should pray for patience, at some point or another.  But specifically if you know that a situation is almost upon you in which you know you will need help getting through it.  Maybe it’s waiting to hear back from a long-lost friend.  Or bickering at the office.  Or the words and actions of another.  Or maybe it’s just that you want something so bad and you feel that you deserve it now, in this instant.  The following is why I believe everyone should pray for patience:

Patience is something we all need to work on.  Admit it.  We know it, but we just want to avoid it.  I think this is the main reason I keep on turning to God to ask for it.  Oh, I have a lot more patience than I used to, but there are still issues and people who just irritate the [edit] out of me.  Once we know and admit what we need to work on, then we can move to fix it.

Those situations (events, people, etc.) that stress you out are not going to magically disappear.  You can try to avoid them like the plague (I know there are some that I do), but they will never truly go away.  Yes, events will come to pass and people will die, but there will always be another.  The longer you avoid confronting it, the worse it will get.  By learning patience and confronting these situations, they will no longer stress you out.

And on that note:  The less stressed you are, the healthier you will be.  I’m sure it’s a scientific fact, proven through stressing a person out beyond belief and watching their health fail time and time again.  Oh, wait.  Yeah.  About that…

In confronting the situations that God places in front of you, you will learn what you truly need to pray for.  I pray for patience.  But I also pray for the situation that causes the anxiety.  I pray for strength and guidance.  For the right words and/or actions to be revealed.  I pray constantly that I see the needs and have the clarity of mind to assist.

If I am not patient with people, I am not listening to them.  If I am thinking of “Now! Now! Now!”, I am missing everything that goes on around me.

And when we wait, we learn the true lesson that God is trying to teach us.  There have been times when I have so desperately wanted something and not received it, only to take a step back and realize how lucky I was not to have it in my grasp.  In the moment, this is one of the most frustrating situations, but you quickly get to put everything into perspective.

But be warned:  Even if you don’t pray for patience, the event is still likely to happen.  You can try to avoid it (and take all the stress that comes with that) or you can prepare your heart and mind in every way possible (through prayer and confronting the hazards before us) so that the stress of living does not threaten to overwhelm you.

Even after writing it all out, I still feel like an idiot at times.  I guess that is just the price I pay for living the adventure set before me!

God Bless and PEACE


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