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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Give Me Patience

Why does it take so long to learn some things? Have you ever had days when you prayed “Lord, give me patience, and I Want it NOW!” Welcome to my world! The reality is that there are many things in life which we cannot hurry, and growth is one of them.

Over these last couple of months I have watched my grandson grow and develop in leaps and bounds, each day shows new skills and abilities. Yet, when I look in the mirror it doesn’t seem like I am growing at all – and there are days when it feels like I am regressing. Spending the last week on a spiritual retreat only confirmed my suspicions…so what do I do next?

Saint Francis De Sales put it like this:

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew.”

Great suggestion, but how? Realistically it is about having the courage to tackle one thing at a time, believing that God will give us the strength and wisdom when we need it, because He can see the big picture, even when we can’t. The fact is, I can’t see the hands of the clock move, and the more I focus on it the more frustrating it gets! But when I get on with the job that God has called me to, I get surprised by how fast the hands seem to have moved when I wasn’t watching.

So, maybe I did learn something this week, retreats can be helpful to regain perspective, and to be thankful for what God has been doing and will continue to in and through me, even if I can’t always see it. I just have to patiently keep moving forward one day at a time, tackling one issue at a time… simple… but why doesn’t it happen quicker?

Chaplain Ian Whitley

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