Call to Prayer 6/12/17

My mother, Mary Laughman, serves as the Prayer Coordinator for the Georgia Baptist WMU/WEM. Each Monday she posts a blog which she calls the "Call to Prayer" on the website If you would like to subscribe to her blog, just click the link and follow the instructions. This year she is inviting guests to write on the fruit of the Spirit. I was asked to share on patience. Here's my offering:


When I was a much younger man, patience was not my friend. In fact, I wasted a great deal of energy expressing my frustration over everything from the amount of time I was spending on hold to the fact that I was hungry and my order hadn’t arrived soon enough. Looking back, I was probably not much fun to be around. Most of my wrath was directed at other people and what I perceived to be their inefficient use of my time. I was not much of a grace giver. Thank God that patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit! What I could not muster (and had no desire to), He has produced in my life to greater and greater degrees as I grow in Him.

I am still not the most patient person, but I am not who I used to be. James, the brother of Jesus, understood the practical applications of following our Lord. He admonishes us to look at patience as a result of the God-given challenges we face. More than that, he relates patience to the very way we perceive our lives and the amount of time God has given us on this earth. He writes:

“Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Do not complain, brethren, against one another, so that you yourselves may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing right at the door.” – James 5:7-9

We tend to be overwhelmed with what is immediately before us. The loudest complaint is addressed first. The tyranny of the urgent reigns supreme. So many problems and concerns compete for our attention that we fail to see the big picture. When we see life and all its challenges from an eternal perspective, as James advocates, we recognize that God’s timetable is set. Just like the farmer in James’ example we are free to wait for God’s provision. We continue to work toward the harvest, but we have no power or influence over the rains or the sunshine. This eternal perspective also frees us to see others, those we may complain against, in light of God’s timing. He is still working on them, just like He is working through us.

Like all of the fruit of the Spirit, patience is not something we can create through any power of our own. As we grow in Christ, the Spirit works in us to make us more like Him. Jesus was always present in the moment because of (not in spite of) His eternal perspective. His knowledge and trust in the Father’s plan allowed Him to spend time with people and give them the attention they needed from Him. He was never so hurried that he ignored people. As we grow to be more like our Lord, the Spirit working in us can and will produce the patience we need to not only live in the moment, but also to see how each moment was crafted to bring glory to God.

Father, you have placed eternity in our hearts, but we confess that we get impatient for things to be as you planned. We fail to live each moment as a gift and rush on to the next without much thought of your purpose for today. May each of us demonstrate a focus on eternity by being patient today for whatever you allow. Amen.