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My Bible study this morning is dealing with God’s patience, and I have to confess I’m having a bit of difficulty getting it to sink in (beyond head knowledge into heart knowledge).

I did not grow up in a “patient” house. I am not naturally a “patient” person, and not that slow to anger, either. As Priscilla Shirer says, “Powerful people can be most intolerant of others’ weaknesses.” And as I see my own tendencies playing that out, I also see that in the impatience of the city I live in, and the impatience and intolerance of our country and culture.

And yet,

The Lord passed in front of Moses, calling out, (I am) “Yahweh! The Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” – Exodus 34:6 (nlt)

Time and time again, we see God granting mercy and patience on His people. Especially in the story of Gideon – what we call remarkable restraint is just another normal day to God. God is obviously quite used to us humans by now.

It’s so hard to translate that when we look at it with our human experience. How do we convert this holy mystery into our daily view? How do we live out that patience ourselves? How in the world can we, when it’s so foreign to our normal existence?

I think of when I’m being my most impatient – and it’s at those times that I’m showing the opposite of God’s love. Impatience has roots in pride a bit, don’t you think? We want what we want when we want it, and why don’t we already have it, and why are you doing whatever it is you’re doing that’s inconveniencing me.

This is what the world sees in us. What our kids see in us.

And that is sobering.

Obviously patience is completely impossible on our own. It can only be done when we are filled with God’s power. He is the God of compassion and mercy! And how much easier is to be patient we we are filled with that compassion and mercy. How much easier is it to patient when we are filled with His understanding. When I am able to focus on sharing that compassion, mercy and understanding – His holy LOVE, then the endurance and patience naturally flows. Effortlessly.

We also pray that you will be strengthened with all His glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy! – Colossians 1:11 (nlt)

Please share with me your thoughts – how do you practice patience? What has worked for you in increasing your patience levels?