Fruit of the Spirit Challenge: Reflections on Patience

This is a guest post by Susannah Cafardi, NCC Barracks Row Saturday Small Group Director.

So I haven’t been particularly patient these past few days. And you know what? I really haven’t been very peaceful either. Kinda goes to show how interconnected these two fruits are. I guess I never thought of how much overlap there is between them, but now I’m not sure how we could really focus on one without integrating the other. I’m realizing that the definition of patience is far more than “grit your teeth and get through the current season,” and I’ve decided that true patience is hard.

In my prayer life, one thing that God is constantly challenging me to surrender to is His timing - to wait in His presence for His work to be completed in me. I’m fairly high energy, and, in a lot of ways, self-sufficient. I have a bad habit of making a decision that something should happen and acting on it without yielding to His timing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laced up my running shoes knowing full well I wasn’t healthy enough to be out there. And I continue to learn that my choosing when I’m ready rather than patiently waiting until I really am often fails to get me to the desired outcome and causes even further delays. And this lesson seems to manifest itself again and again from athletics to relationships to my career.

At times I desire to know the “why” behind delays associated with two torn ACLs, seasons of relational drought, and work opportunities that seem to be just out of my reach. But I care far more about outcomes than He does. And as we all know, He cares more about who we are becoming than what we are accomplishing. So, through it all, I’m beginning to learn patience in the journey, peace in the moment, and joy in Him.