Patience & Tolerance

(I apologize to those of you that have been checking this blog and reading my personal applications and journey.  Much of the following was actually written back in May on Mother’s Day.Due to the nature of that day, the week that followed, and events surrounding my work (employment), I’m just now getting back to this blog. I’m sorry for the absence and will try to do better at combining my ministry with … life.)  
Well … let’s just start out by admitting these (patience and tolerance) are not innately natural human qualities. Consider any newborn, toddler, child, teenager, … I’m not really sure where to draw the line or even if a line can be drawn. Patience and tolerance are acquired characteristics and biblically taught but they seem to come and go on a daily basis. Christ himself taught that each day will bring challenges. My phrase for this is being “lifed on.” It is inevitable to one extent or another each and every day. This year, on this Mother’s Day, I sat aboard an airplane delayed 90 minutes due to a cabin panel that inevitably was ductaped back to the ceiling. This delay was adequate for me to lose my rental car reservation resulting in alternative arrangements at double the cost. Additionally, it made me 15 minutes late picking Mother up for the family Mother’s Day event.

Extraordinary circumstances or events? No, not really. Frustrating and infuriating, ABSOLUTELY! What are we taught?

(Ephesians 6:10-16) Know that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” Self will is strong in most. It is self centered and not the way of God. This selfishness comes from the earliest “powers of this dark world.” The power to resist these “spiritual forces of evil” must come from God himself. God tells us, through the Apostle Paul, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.” Never forget to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions.”

(AA Step 11) “Sought through prayer and meditation to maintain constant contact with God.”

You see, God knows, by personal experience, that life in the body is not easy. He knows that without His wisdom our human self will takes us away from God’s will for us. Paul described these daily attacks as “flaming arrows” extinguished only by the “shield of faith.” My most frequent prayer on days like this past Mother’s Day, are for knowledge of God’s will for me and the power to carry it out. Even after this little chapter in my life came to a close, I knew I had challenges lying ahead on through Mother’s Day and the week that followed. Due to that trip I wasn’t able to hear Pastor Brian’s insights into “Family Angst” but I had the choice to experience the angst or accept and practice God’s advice passed to me through Paul and relayed again through AA’s founders’ and their Biblical study and application.

Truth be told, my effort is shown through this very writing. Rather than turning inward toward the fire inside I was led to God’s Word for situations like this and expressed to you exactly what I need to practice myself between now and when I give thanks at day’s end.

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