Friday, September 2, 2011

Let Patience Have Her Perfect Work

I had an interesting experience with both unkindness and kindness last night in rapid succession. I drove to the grocery store to pick up a package of pepperoni for our homemade pizza dinner. As soon as I stepped out of my car, a woman, visibly angry, approached me while her husband, visibly embarrassed, hung back behind her.

She asked me if I'd seen their turn signal for the parking spot I'd just taken and the stop sign at the store entry crosswalk (where both our vehicles faced one another. I looked over and sure enough - there, to my amazement, was a stop sign. I hadn't seen it all all. When did they start putting stop signs at supermarket crosswalks? I told her no, I hadn't seen it at all and I was sorry.

I offered her a sincere and apologetic smile and she just scowled at me and slithered back to her husband, who I think was hiding. It seems to me this wasn't the fist time she'd humiliated him like this. If they hadn't gotten a parking spot one space over from me, I think she might have had me arrested.

As I walked into the store, feeling slightly shaken, I felt a gentle touch on my arm as a woman said to me softly, "That's okay, dear. I always hope that those kind of people never make a mistake!" Her kindness was so consoling after the toxic woman I'd just encountered.

I felt so sorry for the husband of that disgruntled, angry, unsatisfied, unthankful woman. She had no peace and gave no grace. Grace goes such a long, long way in this world. And what we sow, we reap.

The Lord says "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." Matt 7:2

Patience with people and situations comes from the peace of God.  When it flows through me onto others-  even if they are unkind to me - I stand in amazement at the work of God in my life. This is what apostle Paul explained about the hope that comes from the experience that comes from patience that tribulation brings.

Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 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.

Isn't that an awesome scripture!? When we go through a trial, patience is worked. It makes me think of the way we work yeast into bread as we knead it.  But it doesn't stop there. Patience works experience. When we learn the wonderful faithfulness of our God who never changes. And our experience with tribulation and God's faithfulness to us in response to it, brings hope. And that kind of hope will not make us ashamed! :)

This lady all steamed up at me was miniscule in comparison to most of the tribulations I've encountered. But I wanted to share that even in those "little things" we can be overcomers. So when tribulations come along we can "let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing." James 1:4

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. Matt 5:44

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