And More Patience

Trudy Maassen Vander Haar

READ : Psalm 37:1-8

Patience is a gift we can give as well as receive. It was a bummer of a morning. Our teen-age daughter and I had quarreled before she left for school and I was feeling miserable. True, I thought she’d acted like a “stinker,” but I hadn’t been very sensitive to the pain she’d gone through earlier that week. I called her a “Lucy” for grousing (the Peanuts character, remember?) “Ouch! That hurt!” She responded, “I hope you’re leaving soon on your next trip!” (ironical- ly, to lead a parenting seminar). Now it was my turn to say “Ouch!” After she left for school, I was very depressed, filled with self-hatred and self-pity.

That morning I read two things seemingly printed just for me. The first, written by an adolescent, pleaded for love and understanding. The other was an article on name calling and ridiculing, which are devastating, making a person feel unloved and unappreciated. Besides, they never motivate change in behavior. I knew all this, and I kept thinking, “Lord, why don’t I practice what I know?” By after- noon everything was back to normal and I thanked God for a strong relationship with my daughter even while lamenting my lack of patience. A song kept running through my mind, “O rest in the Lord, wait patiently for Him, and He will give you your heart’s desire” even when what you desire is patience.

PRAYER

Lord, help us to wait for guidance from You when we are tempted to act or speak hastily. In Jesus’ name. Amen.