Patience Scrabble

Last week, for the start of Advent, I wrote about the prominence of hope in the Christmas story. We worship the God of gestation. Pregnancy is the chief metaphor used in scripture for hope. Paul used that metaphor in Romans 8 and said, “For in this hope [a carried-in-the-womb, expecting-type hope] we were saved.” How comfortable are you with gestative salvation?

Paul continued in Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not have we wait for it patiently.” Patience is one of the most important themes in the Bible. It is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). It is the first descriptor of what love is (1 Corinthians 13). It is a descriptor of what God is like (Romans 15). In a culture of impatience (and for creatures so riddled by it) the season of Advent reminds us how impatience goes against how God works in the world.

When I think about the sins in my life, the ones I’ve committed in the past and those with which I currently struggle, I can trace a line from them back to impatience. Whether it is anger, greed, discouragement, losing heart–the list goes on–my lack of disciplined patience feeds the soil where the sin grows. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, “Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus.” Peter Marshall wrote, “Teach us, O Lord, the discipline of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.” May that be our prayer this Christmas season.

In what way is God is trying to grow your patience?

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