Serving Up Patience
By Luann Prater
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11
I can never own a handgun. That was a truth I recognized 30 years ago. For me, it was not a good decision because my impulsive self could shoot first and think later. I believe in the right to defend yourself, I just knew that I was not mentally healthy enough to handle it at the time.
It's not an exaggeration to say my life was out of control and snapping was a definite possibility. My sister and I joked that we had suffered at least 3 nervous breakdowns, but no one noticed!
I was married to an alcoholic. Many nights were spent driving from tavern to tavern to find his car and beg him to come home. Three little ones in the backseat and parents who were praying, kept me from burning every bar in our town to the ground.
After turning my life over to Christ, He revealed my lack of patience. The leftover hurt from the past hitched a ride into my future and I was clueless how to change. Can I be honest? When I read the Fruit of the Spirit attributes it seemed like an impossible laundry list and yet, God kept wooing me to sit with Him. As I sat in His presence one day asking Him to show me how to be better, He asked me a question. "Do you want to be a servant, Luann?" Yes, Lord. "Then open your Bible."
James 1:1 "James, a servant of God and of The Lord Jesus Christ" (NIV). If you want to learn how to tackle the things that trip you up all the time, begin as a seeking servant. I read and reread James until it became part of my DNA.
For me, patience is directly tied to seeking God's wisdom in the everyday decisions I make.
I still don't own a handgun, but I do have two hands that regularly press together to pray for wisdom.
Read through the book of James this week. Ask God to open your eyes and heart to the lessons He has for you there.
Lord, we often pray for patience and I've learned that when I do, You provide opportunities for me to practice patience. Today instead, will You guide me into wisdom? James 1:5 says, "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault and it will be given to him." Thank You for being so generous when we need it most. In Jesus' name, amen.
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© 2020 by Luann Prater. All rights reserved.
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