"And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady" Romans 5:4 TLB.
When sitting in the dentist's chair for almost two hours there is a lot of time to hear the conversations above your head. If someone ask a question you can only grunt out an answer at best. You are too busy trying to hold your mouth open while attempting not to strangle on your own saliva. And....not to think on the grinding as you see pieces of whatever are flying up in your face and your dentist's glasses.
At a recent visit my dentist began sharing that he enjoyed his job and had learned the art of patience with his clients as each one sat in his chair to receive his services. Some are easy going and cooperative he said. Then some people brought challenges as they shifted in the chair or were unable to hold their mouths open long enough for him to do his work. He shared that he had learned to try to accomplish the work
Our conversation reminded me of God's patience with us...His long-suffering. So many times we squirm out of His reach or His plan for us making it difficult for Him to accomplish His work in and through us. Sometimes we don't open our mouths to share His love with others when He brings them our way or share a word of witness for the hope within us.
My dentist didn't really attribute his lessons on patience as a testimony to God but how it had taken him years to develop patience as a character trait. He stated learning that virtue was life changing in his ability to respond to his clients properly and to enjoy his profession.
Patience is hard for us these days because we are use to getting what we want in an instant. Or maybe it is that we are not patient with a person and must learn that lesson. You, like me may have heard over the years not to pray for patience because you just might find yourself in a test to prove your patience.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are all mentioned in Galatians as the fruit of the spirit. It is a life long process for each of us as we allow God to develop each one of those in us. Maybe you need to renew your vow to work on all these attributes in your life. I am praying that your faith will remain strong and steady as I strive to do the same.