“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing,” James 1:4 (NKJV)
Looking back on my life, I realized that things don’t get to me like they used to. Years ago, I would get annoyed or irritated by almost everything; long wait lines in the grocery store, busy or crowded places, a slow driver in front of me (a little road rage still slips every now and then, but not like it used to). However, anything that I felt slowed me down or got in the way of what I was trying to accomplish would irk my entire soul! Anyone who is close to me knows I like to K.I.M. – KEEP IT MOVING! Fyi, there’s nothing wrong with keeping it moving, as long as it’s balanced with God’s will.
But God has brought me a long (long, long) way; and it was not easy in any way! This is why He’s God, and I’m not (praise break!). Now, I have and practice a lot more patience in every situation. I’ve also learned not to ask God for patience but rather thank Him for the patience He’s already given me in circumstances (because, honestly, the last thing I need is to give God a reason to put me in patience-rendering situations!). So, admittedly, I’ve grown quite a bit but, as we all know, the Vinedresser is always pruning us, as it is the only way to keep growing. And, even as I’m writing this, He is at work!
There are always people in our lives who have hurt or continue to hurt us deeply. Sometimes, it’s someone that, for different reasons, we cannot just “get rid of.” This is the case for me right now. And, as much as I would love to toss them out of my life, I find myself having to practice patience with them daily because the circumstance requires me to speak to and engage with them personally. So, I can’t just cut all ties and keep it moving (as I so love to do). I must recognize that there is a process and a delicacy that is necessary in this season. And, process and delicacy requires patience!
That last part is the hardest! Especially because I live my life with an open door policy: if you don’t want to be in my life, the door is always open. You either want to stay or you can leave – period. But not all instances are that black and white. Sometimes, there’s a little gray area and that’s where I need to let patience have its perfect work. This is where the rubber hits the road of endurance. You see, in order for patience to have its perfect work, we mist make the choice to allow patience to work!
The promise in James 4:1 for us to be complete and lacking nothing is absolute truth…but contingent upon our willingness to let patience have its perfect work, to do the work in us that is necessary in order to perfect us! There simply is no way around it (trust me). So, my dear sister, any time we are on the road of endurance, we must ask ourselves; are we willing to stay on that road; to endure the pain, the heartache, the tears, the confusion, and the uncertainty? Will you truly allow patience to bring out those things in your heart that need pruning? Because our confidence is in knowing that, if we let patience work, the end destination would have been worth the ride!