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Patience is a Virtue

Why is patience the greatest virtue? Quite often this virtue is essential in dealing with difficult situations and difficult people. Patience allows us to be kind to those who make it difficult to be kind to, and to communicate rationally to put aside any misunderstandings and mistrust. The blessing of patience is that it gives Christ time to work in us, to build our character to be more like His.

This past week, patience was something greatly needed in the Newman house hold. Where do I start? Let’s start in the garden. The garden is where we’ve been putting a lot of time, energy, and heart into. 6:30 AM every morning we’re in the garden weeding, preparing beds, adjusting soil mixtures, planting, watering, and harvesting. A week ago it was time to plant the arugula. We prepared the soil and planted the seeds. This past week we should have seen something popping through, but nothing, nothing at all. I really wanted to get upset, but I told myself, “You will just have to plant the arugula this coming spring,” even though I wanted arugula for the winter months. Things don’t always work out the way you plan.

As the week went on, while working outside, Vernon smelled propane around the propane tank. You should not be smelling propane around the tank. He called the propane technician, and he found a leak in the main line that was buried about 10 inches underground. The propane line needed to be replaced, and the tank shut off. This meant no hot water, and no stove for cooking. Meanwhile, working out the situation with the propane tank, we got a leak in the main waste water drain line in the house. Not only did we not have hot water, but now we couldn’t flush the toilets, run water in the sinks, take a shower or bathe. I won’t go into detail but we were able to figure out how to bathe and use the toilets. A little bit of “outside the box thinking” is getting us through.

So, you see, our patience has been tested. And, when we are through, prayerfully we will have been strengthened.

Let’s talk a little more about patience. I am sure many of you have had crazy weeks, days, months, perhaps years, and patience was the very Holy Spirit supplied virtue that has gotten you through. Here’s why patience is so important in our lives. Patience enables us to take a step back from the situation, and analyze things beyond their face value. The unselfishness, calm behavior, and self-control of patient people can make them very dependable. It, also, gives those who exercise this virtue inner peace, and the ability to keep smiling in the face of challenges. We also gain clarity and perspective. When we remove rush or hurry from our minds, we get more reliable ideas as to what we truly want, and what is the best solution or outcome to our desire or problem. When we exercise patience, we experience more compassion and kindness for others and ourselves. Patience also creates greater confidence in our decisions and actions, and a more thoughtful outlook on life. Patience leads to wisdom and success. How does this happen? It forces us to slow down, and to take our time to better assess the problems we face in our lives.

Patience is one of the most important social skills for our children to learn from their prenatal period, onward. This, of course implies patient parental preparation, modeling, and guidance. It is a necessary skill for our children’s maturity. With patience, children will be more flexible, their endurance more elastic; they will be able to take time to work out their problems, and avoid periods of frustration. Patience paves the way for a happy and contented life.

The Word of God has much to say about patience. Here are a few passages.

· “In your patience possess ye your souls.” Luke 21:19

· “For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.” Hebrews 10:36

“He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” Proverbs 14:29

“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-5

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer.” Romans 12:12

“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love.” Ephesians 4:2

“But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.” Romans 8:25

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9

“3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” Romans 5:3–5

As we are walking in the Spirit through life, Christ desires to produce patience in us… to slow us down, and to show us how to trust in Him. Christ does not test us just for the sake of testing, but He tests us to teach us to walk in His ways and to trust in Him, always.

This past week was a very big test of patience for us here at the KST Farm. I told my grandchildren how proud I was of them. Not one time did they complain about how we had to adjust in our bathroom use, or in how we had to bathe the old-fashion way. We all stepped up to the plate. The leak from the main waste water line has been repaired, and the new line for the propane tank is in. Now we wait, patiently, for the line to be connected, and the propane turned on. All in all we have had a very patience developing week.

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