OOOOOoooooh I do hate learning patience. For me it has always been painful because I want to be "over there by Tuesday at 4:00 pm" even it means I fail to show mercy to a slow walker or a lonely neighbor. I want it "now, NOW, NOW!!!" without considering if someone else's need should give way to my want.
And yet, as with most all painful lessons, I have been so amazingly blessed. The people I have been willing to give a bit of my precious time to, to share a few of the many dollars God has given me resources to receive, or to take a deep breath and a pause before I jump to a conclusion or speak impetuously pour blessing into my life. I am still a work in progress and I certainly don't do it consistently or even very well; but the blessings are so powerful and abundant that I am drawn to continue trying to get this "right" more of the time.
It helps sometimes to think how often God with a lesser sense of humor, a temper, or a little less abiding and healing love would likely to take a Nerf bat to my backside to get my attention. And since I benefit so richly from God's mercy for and patience with me, I am increasingly embarrassed to show less to the girl in the drive through or the retiree who parks crookedly in the parking lot. Instead of justifying every err or mistake I make, I'm learning to acknowledge both the err and the inconvenience or even unexpected damage it caused others. I'm more willing to ask for help and wait more patiently for guidance or enlightenment.
And, wonder of wonders, I'm learning to be more patient with myself, not demanding more of myself than God does....you know, that amazing God who keeps forgiving and keeps blessing and keeps teaching and always, always keeps loving. You know, that perfect God who does not expect me to be perfect, because His Son died to take care of all that. You know, that trustworthy God who does expect me to be kind and forgiving and loving and generous as I have been given all that from God directly, showing me that it is in my own best interest to be ever more like God created me to be.
Who deserves to receive mercy today? How about the gal in the mirror for a start? How about your most irritating relative or the work-place jerk? How about someone whose error or mistake or sin has resulted in a relationship with the legal system? How about someone whose sin is not living up to my expectation of them?
2 Peter 1:6