In my New Testament class, one of the assignments was to choose a Christlike attribute to develop/work on over the seven weeks of the class. As I pondered the many attributes that Christ has that I am severely lacking, the one I felt like I need to work on at this stage of my life is PATIENCE. The dreaded "p" word. Now, how many times have I specifically focused on being more patient? WAY too many to count. But I'm not giving up. No way, no how. I'm going to be patient in the process of learning how to be more patient. :)
As I have studied the life of Christ, specifically looking for how he exemplified the attribute of being patient, I feel that I am seeing familiar stories in a whole new way. I have been able to see how patient the Lord was with those around Him.
How many times did His disciples see Him perform a miracle only to marvel the next time something amazing happened? For example, after Christ fed the 5000 with a few loaves and fishes (Matthew 14:15-21), the disciples just could not believe it when they saw Him walking on the water not even a day later. This happened time after time, miracle after miracle. If I were the Savior, I feel like I would be fed up by this time. "When are you guys going to get it?" type of frustration here. The "throwing up your hands and wanting to throw in the towel and leave" kind of frustration here.
But the Savior, in the way that only the Savior can(and maybe Elder Holland because that guy is amazing), patiently loves His disciples, gently rebukes them when they need a course correction while trying to "get it", and explains things in different ways until they do "get it". What is it, exactly, that He needed them to get? The same thing He needs us to get...that He is the very Son of God, our Savior and Redeemer, and the only One who can stand as our Advocate before God. He wants us to get that it is because of Him that we are able to repent of our sins and be with our families forever. He wants us to get that He asks us to obey certain commandments and do certain things because those are the things that will keep us close to Him and far from Satan.
Just as He patiently waited on His disciples to "get it", He offers that same patient waiting to us. That doesn't mean that He doesn't need to give us a swift kick in the pants sometimes to get us going back in the right direction (AKA cleansing the temple, not once, but twice). But even as He is offering that swift kick, He is patiently waiting until we "get it", even if it takes years...and a million swift kicks in the pants.
Enduring to the End
Becoming Like He is...AKA "Goals"
Patience is a purifying process. I love thinking of it that way. I also love the idea that patience means active waiting and enduring. We live in a world of instant gratification, which is why I think patience is so hard to come by. We really don't have to wait long for anything, unless your internet has a hiccup and is a little slow (first world probs, am I right?). This is why it is so important for us to focus on developing patience because "in your patience possess ye your souls".
I am loving my second chance at life.
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