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20 February

Lord, Give Me Patience

Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.” Romans 15:5 NKJV

With one eye on the clock and the other on my toddler, I watched her tiny index finger and thumb select one cheerio and eat it. After looking around the room and chewing, she would pick up another one and eat it. She had no concept of time or the understanding that I needed to get us out the door to begin our day. As she chewed, she would push on my leg with her foot as I sat by her highchair. It was a morning ritual and nothing was going to hurry her while she enjoyed each individual cheerio.

She didn’t eat much, but what she did eat, she savored. With that little foot still resting on my leg I watched the clock and coaxed her to hurry. To speed things up I tried giving her my breakfast but she was not interested. Her little stomach was happy with her small meal that seemed to satisfy her.

This sweet, but at the time stressful, memory often sweeps across my mind when I’m talking to a new Christian. At times I’ll have someone come to me for advice or to share a concern and I try to hurry things along. I want to slide them a plate full of dos and don’ts along with Scripture as well as give them an example of someone in the Bible when they just aren’t ready for all of that information yet. They need for me to give them a little at a time.

Patience. That’s when I call out to God for more patience. Sometimes when we are in the ministry we have a tendency to forget that some people who come across our paths didn’t grow up attending church and aren’t familiar with Scripture or many of the people that are written about in the Bible. They also aren’t in a hurry. What they bring to us is important to them, and they need to know that we care and want to help.

When talking to a new Christian we need to remember:
  •        Not to assume they know the Bible as well as we do.
  •         To listen to what they are saying and don’t hurry them along.
  •      That at first, a little is better than a lot. Keep things simple.
  •          Not to use a lot of “churchy” words.
  • ·       To pray, pray, pray . . . not just for patience, but also for wisdom.

As pastors’ wives, women will sometimes bring things to us that they don’t want to discuss with our husbands so we need to take our roles seriously. Next time that dear one wants to talk to you, and if you know she is a new Christian, just prepare yourself to settle in beside her and feed her a little at a time. And don’t watch the clock. God is using you to care for this child of His just like He used me to care for my toddler—with patience and love!

About the Author:

The hats I wear are many but with each one brings an opportunity to share heart, humor, and hope. My day job is with a ministry in Greenville, SC but my other hours I fill with writing, speaking, teaching Bible Studies, leading our women's ministry, designing landscape/gardens, rowing at Greenville Indoor Rowing and answering to Beth, mama, and grandmommy. Serving alongside my husband, who is a pastor, for over twenty years, I can say without a doubt that as difficult as it is at times, it's also a great honor. They say that with age comes wisdom, I'm not sure about the wisdom part, but I do know that with age comes the realization that no matter what I go through God is always there with His overwhelming love and grace. 

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