But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. (2 Peter 3:13-15)
Of all the fruits of God’s Holy Spirit, patience seems to be absent from my basket. My tendency is to wait impatiently, checking the clock, looking out the window, too agitated to settle down and do anything constructive. I get impatient with other people, and then I don’t always act in the most gracious, civil, and respectful way that I know I should. I am finding that social distancing and personal isolation are not doing my lack of patience any good. I am sick and tired of being stuck at home, even though I know it is the right, smart, and conscientious thing to do. I am more than ready to emerge into the new reality – the new normal – that will follow the pandemic.
But that time is not yet. I know this. Impatience and selfish disregard for what could happen to others can only bring disaster. The need for patience and non-anxious acceptance of this dangerous current reality is not simply a good idea, it is crucially important. So, what is impossible for me is always possible for God. When I am weak, God is strong. When I am anxious, Jesus is calm. When I am intolerant, grasping and self-centered, the Holy Spirit produces the miraculous fruit of patience, generosity, kindness and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23) In these strange days, I find I need God more than ever before.
Prayer: God grant me the patience I lack. Help me to care as much about my neighbor as I care about myself. Keep me grounded and settled in heart, mind, and spirit. Remind me often to breathe deeply, calmly, slowly. Fill me with your Spirit of kindness, peace, gentleness, rest and restoration. Prepare me for the new reality you will reveal, in your time, by your loving hand, through your will. Amen.