When I was eight years old, my dad taught me to fly fish from his boat. I loved watching his technique and longed to learn. The graceful arc of his rod positioned the artificial fly inches from the bank with a gentle landing. After Daddy’s casts—when the tiny ripples subsided—we patiently watched to see if a fish would bite.
Fishing with an eight-year-old requires an extra measure of patience. One day my entire rod landed in the lake, but Daddy rescued it before it sank.
My flies would often land a few feet in front of the boat with a plop and several feet of line that probably gave the fish heart attacks, spoiling hopes of an afternoon catch of bass and bream.
My dad demonstrated a generous supply of forbearance while I learned to cast further out and toward the bank—which often caused the hook to catch on the bank’s grass or low hanging branches. With tolerance, dear old Dad would paddle over to the edge, remove my hook, tie on another fly, and paddle back out.
I sat in the front of the boat and Daddy sat in the back and called out each step in the process. One time after several successful casts, I tried again. This time I heard, “Pull your rod up, pull back, stop, go forward, OW!” The only thing I’d hooked that time was Daddy’s scalp!
After my tearful apology, Daddy pressed a handkerchief to his bleeding scalp and said, “It’s okay. Let’s try that again.” His response was one of many that spoke of his love for me.
Love is patient, love is kind.1 Corinthians 13:4 ESV 1
Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit working in us. Our forbearance speaks of His love in us.Patience is a fruit of God’s Spirit working in us. Our forbearance speaks of His love in us. Click To Tweet
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness …
In this series of posts, we set out to renew our walk with God this spring. Part of the renewal He generates in our hearts is transforming us to be more like Him. God is patient and slow to anger.
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.Psalm 86:15
Imagine the patience of Jesus as He witnessed sin, taught the disciples, and suffered for sinful men. Surely, when Jesus called us to be “fishers of men,” He meant for us to “put on” patience before we step into the boat and cast our line.
God’s instructions in Colossians chapter three guide us as we seek to imitate Jesus and ask Him to renew our hearts.
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.Colossians 2:6
He then tells us which garments to “put off” (Colossians 3:5-9) and which to “put on” (v.12-14). Patience is among them.
Sometimes patience is needed when we wait:
- for a new cashier to finish our order,
- for a child to choose a “just right” bedtime story,
- for a dear elderly relative to tell the same story over and over,
- for a long road-blocking train to pass when we’re running late,
- for a phone recording that drones on when we seek a quick response.
What occasions test your patience? How would you rate your responses to trying people and circumstances? I ranked myself about eight out of ten on my imaginary patience scale … until I read definitions like these:
- “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint” 2
- “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, … or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like” 3
- the ability to “accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious” 4
“Without annoyance or anxiety? Accepting of delays? Enduring calmly without complaint?”
After reading these definitions and considering the character of Jesus, I remembered patience is more than my behavior. It includes clothing my heart with forbearance.
We often hear, “That occasion really tried my patience.” Maybe some circumstances are tests to remind us to check our hearts and put on this character trait Jesus modeled for us.
When we put on the garment of biblical patience, the following accessories clash with our spiritual clothing:
- snappy retorts
- huffing and puffing
- murmuring under our breath
- seething as we wish to fast forward
- speeding around a car in front of us
Oh, my. Perhaps we should attach a note to the mirror: Put on patience as you imitate Jesus.
Let me check my imaginary patience scale again and pray. I’m grateful for God’s patience and willingness to forgive when we repent, aren’t you?
Thank You for the patience and forbearance you grant to me. Forgive me for being impatient with people, circumstances, and even myself when I’m in a hurry and things don’t go my way. Renew my walk with you, Lord God, and remind me to put on patience along with spring outfits as I observe Your work in and around me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
Thanks, dear reader friend, for stopping by. Please share your thoughts about patience or examples of this trait you’ve witnessed.
1 All Bible verses are from the ESV.
26 thoughts on “Renew Your Walk with God This Spring: Put on Patience”
Jeannie, has “Alexa” been sharing my days with you?? I’m pretty sure she listens in, and she can be pretty nosey. I know God doesn’t like complaining, yet I find myself doing it way more often that I would like to admit. I’m pretty patient, until you include the need to not complain, and not feel annoyed. Ouch! Thanks for the great reminders.
That’s funny, Glenda. Alexa hasn’t shared. 😉 Like you, I considered myself patient but realized God has more work to do in my heart (always) due to complaining. Sometimes I think of my words as a simple commentary on what is (or is not) happening. However, the condition of my heart during those times is not always calm and trusting. I’m grateful He continues to transform us to His image.
Did I ever need this devotion, and was picturing you and your daddy fishing!! Patience is needed everyday in our lives of being still and knowing that He is God!!
Lynn, I’m thankful God sent a message to me and to you with this post. I’m glad you included our need to be still and know He is God because in doing so we allow the Holy Spirit to convict us and teach us. I have fond memories of fishing with Daddy. I have two brothers, so Daddy would take us into the boat one at a time for obvious reasons. 😉 I do appreciate your input.
Oh, Jeannie, this has been very convicting for me. Thank you for reminding me to show godly patience.
I was convicted as I wrote the post, June. I’m thankful God puts His finger on our hearts to show us our need for Him. I appreciate you reading and commenting so much.
Thank you, Jeannie for this reminder that patience is so important in our daily lives. I, like you, think my patience is pretty high on the scale until I think of situations with a certain person who taxes me to the very limits of mine. Thank you for your “gentle” nudge to have patience with all things especially those we love. Have a blessed day!
Sandy, I think sometimes patience is harder with those in our close circles or people we see often. We all need those nudges, don’t we? I’m grateful God continues to teach us as we desire to renew our hearts in our walk with Him. Thank you so much for adding to our conversation.
Jeannie, this devotion caused my heart to pause.
How often do I react impatiently? I would be embarrassed to admit. However, I am thankful that our Father above (and our families) forgives us from our shortcomings and extends grace.
Thank you for reminding me, patience is a character of God that I must choose to demonstrate daily.
Dawn, like you, I’m not always proud of my responses, but I’m thankful God convicts us, forgives us, and guides us toward His ways. Sometimes patience is tested the most at home where we are loved and known the best. I appreciate your comments.
Jeannie, I loved the illustrations of the practical, small, and every day ways patience is tested but are opportunities to display it. Naming the accessories that clash with patience puts our choices front and center. Thanks for another post in this series–looking forward to the next.
Marilyn, God shined a light into my heart as I wrote the post. I realized that some of my internal responses are not pleasing to Him. You’re right that “ways patience is tested are opportunities to display it.” I hope to remember that statement. I appreciate your observations.
Jeannie, you are so blessed to have such a loving and patient earthly father. Your imagery reminded me of how our Heavenly father is so patient with us. You message really spoke to me, especially when I got to the part about behaviors that don’t mesh with our spiritual clothing. That was an “ouch” moment. Thank you for inspiring and “brightening my day.” Wishing you continued blessings on your journey.
Katherine, I had some “ouch” moments, too, as I wrote the post. Isn’t it interesting and beneficial when God teaches us as we write? My dad was a wonderful man. He wasn’t always as perfectly patient as God is, but while we were fishing, he encouraged me to keep trying. Thank you for pointing out the perfect patience of our heavenly Father who tenderly guides us. Blessings to you, Katherine.
I am a member of the Martha Bowman Friendship Circle. We are going to have only one more meeting before we break for summer. (We have only had one meeting, that was last night, since Covid began). I was wondering if you would be willing to speak to our circle later in the year. We have lost a lot of our members & are now down to about 15- 20 members. But can you let me know if you would be able to come? We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 5:30.
Gail Bankston Rohde ( former member of Ebenezer Meth. Church)
Gail, I’m honored by your request. I’d be delighted to speak to your group. I’ll contact you soon for further information. Thanks for being a faithful reader.
I daily need this reminder to put on patience! I’m afraid I tend to be an eye-roller. I loved this story of your father’s patience as you learned to fish and this line you wrote, “Surely, when Jesus called us to be “fishers of men,” He meant for us to “put on” patience before we step into the boat and cast our line. Thank you, Jeannie for a story that teaches us so well.
Kathy, from a fellow eye-roller ;), as a child, I was reprimanded often for that response. I realized as I wrote this post my heart is not always accepting or tolerant of situations that require patience. Isn’t it wonderful that God corrects us and forgives us? Thank you for sharing, Kathy.
“When we put on the garment of biblical patience, the following accessories clash with our spiritual clothing: “ I love this, Jeannie, in an ouchy sort of way. Than you for the diagnostic and practical suggestions!
Lori, the list was “ouchy” for me, too. I think some of our responses become habits when patience is tested. I’m thankful God continues to convict and teach us to respond in Christlike ways. Thanks for adding to our conversation.
I love the sweet memories you’ve shared and, although I didn’t grow up with my dad, he did take me fishing in my late teens. My line caught in the pine trees every time!
I’ve thought of myself as a patient person for quite some time but I found myself mentally ticking off a response to several of those in the list. Eye-rolling. Check. Murmuring. Check. (Silent) criticizing. Check.
Your article is a good reminder that my Father is more patient than I deserve and a nudge to be watchful over my motives and reactions.
Tammy, it’s easy to get those lines caught in the plants and trees, isn’t it? 😉 Like you, I stopped to check some of those responses, too. I’m thankful God forgives us and transforms us. Thank you for the reminder: “My Father is more patient than I deserve.” Amen. I appreciate your comments, Tammy.
I can relate to the fishing story but I don’t have the excuse for being eight years old. But fishing does teach us a lot about patience and thankfully, God has a lot of patience with us. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you, Barbara, for stopping by to read and comment. You’re right that fishing takes patience, as does our interactions with other people. God does extend patience and grace to us generously.
Your fishing experience sounds a little like mine. I accidentally caught my friend’s sweater and ripped a hole in it. I never went fishing again. I needed the reminder to put on patience because that sometimes is easier to forget than it should be. Thanks.
Joanna, I’m glad I’m not the only one with fishing mishaps. Maybe we’ll both try fishing again one day. I agree that in the mix of daily life, patience can slip our minds as a quality we need to “put on.” Thank you for sharing your story and your comments.