The Fruit of the Spirit

The Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

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Written by: Nikki Laureano

Recently, the Lord has been prompting me to make a huge change in my life—the kind of change that will shake up my family’s security and comfort. He has asked me to quit my comfortable, corporate job.

I’ll be honest—it was truly exciting at first. The thought of a new adventure overjoyed me to no end. But then I started to think about all the details that go into making such elaborate changes and the anxiety invaded my mind like morning fog.

You see, I have been a serial quitter my entire life. From new projects and endeavors to relationships, I have quit everything at least once.

The second things get too rough or too uncomfortable, anxiety takes the reigns and I run as fast as I can in the opposite direction. I want to give in and admit defeat, and I just want everything to stay as it is.

“We can make out plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Proverbs 16:9

This time was no different. I applied for a job at a church, stepping towards the change God was calling me to, and it totally freaked me out. So much so that I started to blatantly ignore the emails from the woman I was interviewing with.

A few days went by as the Holy Spirit continued to tug at my heart. And I will be honest, it was easy for me to turn a cold shoulder to the Holy Spirit, just going through the motions of my life and my will.

I stopped spending time with God, which in turn shifted my focus on worldly matters. My life felt fine just the way it was and I was too anxious for change.

Amidst all of this, I met with a group of women who had no idea what I was going through. As we started our meeting, one of them turned to me and asked me if I would pray for the group. It was the first time I had prayed in about six days. As I began to pray, the Holy Spirit shook me awake.

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

I was immediately convicted, and my focus was turned back to the cross. All my anxiety slipped away as the Holy Spirit reminded me of whose I was and what my purpose was. And I realized that the Lord was teaching me patience through perseverance!

My entire life, I had viewed patience as a skill that took practice and was required to keep my feet firmly rooted no matter the situation I was in. I saw it as something that would force me to sit down, wait in passivity and not complain.

But the Holy Spirit is teaching me that patience really means surrendering all that I am to my Creator and keeping my feet moving in His direction – always. It means getting up and finishing the race without complaint!

It reminds me of so many stories throughout the Bible, but the most vivid picture I have is of Jesus as he walked carrying the cross to die for me.

What if he had stopped and waited for God to make the next move? What if he had complained the entire walk? What if he gave up?

This picture is so convicting to my soul, and I realize how often I have taken the Lord’s patience for granted when He has constantly extended patience and grace to me.

God is the only source of patience—the kind that produces perseverance without complaint. When I stay patiently hungry for God and continue to chase after Him, the most powerful, transformative things happen on such a consistent basis that it sometimes makes my head spin and heart cry with joy for how good He truly is all the time.

“…Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne. Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.” Hebrews 12:1-4

I trust that God will continue to call me (and you!) to do supernatural sized things through Him. I know that call can be overwhelming and scary, but I also know that God will always counsel us to do things that display love and produce something truly amazing!

God continues to show me that in order to break free from my pattern of consistently quitting, I need to surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit so that I can reproduce His patience daily. And patience from the Holy Spirit is what allows me to finish the things that He is calling me to do. Amen to that!

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20

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