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Monday, May 20, 2024

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Patience

Patience

By Amy Patsch

Amy Patsch
Amy Patsch

My husband, Neil, is a very patient man. Anyone who knows Neil will tell you he goes through life at a very even tempo. He has finished installing the third faucet in our kitchen sink in the last three months.  That itself is proof enough.

The replacements were no easy task as the entire shelving system under the kitchen sink must be removed every time and, of course, each faucet had its own nuances of installation. It is too long of a story for this column but you can be assured that as each faucet fell short of its desired use, Neil stayed the course as I ordered the next faucet until the most recent one was installed and, using parts from one of the other models, has now been found fit for our needs.

I think of all of this just after we celebrated mothers on their special day. I am sure I can say that not all girls grow up to be patient. I believe a small miracle must occur once the term mother is added to a woman’s title because patience seems to follow. It is amazing. Is this just maturity? I don’t think so.

Myself, I am not a patient soul. I see something that needs done and I must do it now – and quickly.  When Neil and I walk each evening for our mile of exercise I am at least two paces ahead before I realize I am leaving Neil behind. Impatience is not a particularly good trait to have. 

I have wondered if my impatience is why God allows me to be extremely hard of hearing so that I must slow down and listen closely to people if I want to know what is said. I have to face the speaker. I cannot hear words while running out the door. It give me pause. Something that is antithetical to my nature. Ah, well then this must be a lesson from God.

Over the years God has designed various lesson plans to train me to become more in the image that He would like me to portray – Christ’s image. God tells me over and over in the Bible to “Be holy as I am holy.” That is my one constant commission. If I could actually achieve this, I would not need all the other words in the Bible that are there for my correction and rebuke. But, I have not achieved this goal and so God is still working on me. I assume once I cross over into heaven I will then finish the Master’s course.

I am not an especially easy student and I have had to repeat particular lessons over and over for years. I am finally starting to get the hang of identifying God’s leading and I try to keep my learning time shorter.  I wonder, of course, if I’m the only one who is taking this particular subject at the moment or is there a group class where many of us learn a lesson from God all at the same time.

I’m thinking of our churches. We lose leaders, we gain members, we have rogue members, we have internal tribulations. Are these all subjects for the leadership classes of God? Do our elders and pastors pray together and get the answer from God and then grow as a group? Do our Sunday school teachers identify an uncomfortable issue and gather together to seek God’s will? These are all learning lessons and growing in God’s lessons if we are open to His leading.

Patience truly is a virtue, isn’t it? The old proverb holds true in almost every circumstance of our lives when it comes to growth and maturity. Possibly even more so in our Christian lives and our church’s lives but, of course, we have to have hearts soft enough to hear from God.

I know I sometimes hear my own voice drowning out God’s voice and I cringe in dismay when the Holy Spirit makes it known to me. I am trying to be more patient like Neil, so that I can clearly hear the voice of God long before I open my mouth. I must sit in silence and pray seeking God’s answers. This is not particularly my strong suit but I’m learning this lesson too. 

Of course, I am not always studying and intentionally listening to God. Sometimes I am reading a newspaper or a book or even cooking dinner and yet, if I have been working on listening to God’s voice, I can hear Him through what I am reading or doing. As I work on learning patience it is helping me work on my listening skills as well.  

You can pray for my speedy success. Neil will appreciate it and so will I.

ED. NOTE: Amy Patsch writes from Ocean City. Email her at writerGoodGod@gmail.com.

Columnist

Amy Patsch writes religious and faith-based opinion content for the Cape May County Herald.

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