I have learned something about myself over the years. I keep thinking maybe this will be the day (or year?) I'll "get a hold" of a certain issue and fix it. And my problem is a spiritual one--many problems are. It has to do with patience: you know, "long-suffering." Whether it's with my husband and kids, or with those whom I work, or patience with my current situation (whatever that may be at the moment), the quandary is still the same. I'm not even patient with myself; I notice I scowl even when I make mistakes that can't be helped. I'm impatient.

In the past, I have wondered about patience. Some people come across really unruffled, calm, and carefree. Even if they are going through a crisis or their lives are turned upside down, somehow they are marked by patience, demonstrating an even-tempered and soft approach to their problems. I've often thought, well, it comes natural to some, but others (like me) have to work at being patient. Some of us don't have that natural talent. But is it a talent? And how *does* one "work at being patient"?

 

Interestingly, in recent days, it's starting to come together. No, I'm not more patient. But I've discovered how to be.

It goes back to God's Word, the Bible. He has given us lots and lots of scriptural points of reference and I'm starting to think that a number of different issues are only seemingly not the same. In reality, they're tied together. I'm talking about waiting on the Lord, exhibiting self-control as well as not succumbing to anxiousness or fear going hand in hand with being a patient person. Let me explain.

I worry about everything.

Even though God's Word actually commands us to be anxious for nothing (Philippians 4:6), I blow it almost every time. If a crisis is on the horizon, even a small one, I'm shaking in my boots. Usually if I'm stressed, it's over money. TOS is a high-overhead company. Our staff/payroll costs are astronomical. It's incredible what goes on behind the scenes of the magazine to "make it happen." And while I will say over and over that TOS is the Lord's company, and His magazine, when things get rough (like payroll is due) I keep snatching what's His back into my hot restless hands, milling it 'round and about and sweating over it. Yuck. Why do I do this? I'm impatient.

God says to wait on Him. He says a lot in His Word about waiting, in fact, and we'll talk more about that below. It's so easy to spiral down into "need to worry" mode about things, even though the Lord has told us over and over in His Word that He is in control. That means COMPLETE control. He doesn't need Gena to come along and try to fix things, and worrying or becoming anxious over any of it is only a hindrance to my peace of mind. It does not bring Him glory.

I take matters into my own hands.

I have this personality trait that is good yet can be very bad. I'm highly functional even though I have too much going on. I can multi-task very rapidly and somehow keep things moving at a swift pace. But that can have its downfalls, too, if not placed in the right perspective --in light of God's Word. See, when I really should be waiting on the Lord, being still and resting in Him (since after all, He does take care of EVERYTHING in His time), I jump the gun and try to make events happen. It's kind of like a matchmaker who really should mind her own business instead of trying to rush romance. Not that I've ever matched anyone up. But still--you get the idea. I (impatiently) get my hands in there whipping things around like a mini tornado, trying to "make it happen." God doesn't want me doing that. He wants me to move, to walk, to work hard, but not to rush what He is trying to do in my life. I have to remember that His timing is perfect. It is good and it is right. My timing is muddled and imperfect at best, and by getting myself in the way of His plan, I make myself a hindrance. Taking His work, whatever that may be, behind the scenes, and attempting to hijack it and then cram it through a blender to make it happen in MY time and MY way does not bring Him glory. It's just an icky, impatient milkshake by the time I'm done with it. He has things under control . . . always did. Still does.