developing strength inspiration patience patience through trials, trials perseverance personal growth

“Give Me Patience!” – Such A Loose Phrase!

Do you ever encounter situations where you find yourself quietly asking for, or wishing you had, more patience? My guess is that your initial thought is “Don’t we all!” And I suspect you would be correct.

If we are at a place where we believe we are supremely patient, I suspect we simply have not encountered the right set of circumstances that really stretch our limits, challenging our bloated sense of the depth of our patience. You see, the strongest and most patient among us will acknowledge that such ‘patience’ and strength only come from exposure to situations, which, when they have passed, result in an expansion in our capacity to better handle similar situations in the future.

We cannot develop patience by being shielded from bad experiences; neither can we develop strength from merely imagining ourselves in hypothetical situations, or even from hearing about other people’s struggles and triumphs. Patience and strength are personal fruits of practical, lived experiences.

To recognize we are not as patient as we need to be, is to acknowledge that we are aware that things could always have been worse. However, to actually ask or pray for such patience, when genuinely done, is to actually INVITE such hardships – TESTS – the likes of which we have never experienced before! Or perhaps we have encountered such tests before, but never really learned the lessons they were teaching us.

Why do you think two individuals, facing the exact set of circumstances, can end up responding in such disparate ways with disparate impacts? Well, temperament might play a role in this but under the right set of circumstances even temperament will not be sufficient. I suspect that a great determinant of this difference in response and impact has to do with past experiences – or lack thereof – to which these individuals would have been exposed.

Notwithstanding the value of experience, Patience is not a destination that one can say they have reached. Instead it is a constantly evolving capacity that will continue to be expanded as we are exposed to situations that test and stretch us. Increased patience is an excellent thing to strive for; however, in the quest for patience do not forget to ask for wisdom to navigate the challenges, and the correct mindset to help us embrace these challenges when they come, “…knowing that the testing of our faith produces patience…” – James 1:3 (NKJV).

While developing patience does not only result from actual victories won, it requires actually facing and enduring the challenges that we encounter, which provide the ‘lived experience’ we need to gain the benefit of increased patience.

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A rabbit doesn’t complain that it is getting cold; instead it takes advantage of, and patiently adapts to, the challenging conditions to protect itself from would-be predators by blending in with the environment it finds itself in.

Stress, Patience, Strength, Confidence…all part of the same package