Have you ever wanted something so bad that you couldn’t sleep? As a kid, I remember the night before vacation. I knew all I had to do was go to sleep, and when I woke up it would be time to leave. So what did I do? I didn’t sleep. I tried so hard, but couldn’t do it. My eye lids were like opposite sides of a magnet, I couldn’t get them to stay closed.

There are many times in our lives that we’re on the verge of something—vacation, a review at work (and the money that might come with it), an application or maybe a diagnosis. Waiting is an uncomfortable part of being human.

Here’s some good news about patience:

  1. “The fruit of the spirit is patience.” (Galatians 5:22-23) Patience is a work of God’s Spirit within you, which means it’s not up to you. It’s a gift, not something that you can conjure up on your own.
  2. “A man or woman plans his or her way, but it is God who directs his or her steps.” (Prov. 16:9) Like the conductor of an orchestra or an engineer on a passenger train, God is the director of our lives who leads us step by step. Patience comes from faith–that the God who loves you, will also lead you.

We have a little responsibility too. “Walk in the Spirit, and you will not gratify human desires…” (Galatians 5:16) Patience is a fruit of the Spirit, but to enjoy the fruit you have to walk in the Spirit. In other words, although it’s a gift, it requires acceptance—we have to look toward God in faith. What’s a good way to do this? Here’s one: create a timeline of faithfulness. Do what Israel did throughout the Bible, and look back on those times when God took care of you. It will reinforce your faith, and help you wait on God for what’s next.

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