That Difficult Fruit

Today took longer.  As instructed on the first visit, I beeped myself in with my hospital bracelet, took a seat in my little corner of the waiting room, which  was peopled with a few older men chatting it up, and waited.  My name was called on the speaker system, so I walked through the door, down the ramp, and into the dressing room to switch out my animal print top for a lovely hospital gown, which is the shade of washed-out water color blue. I locked up my purse in the locker and went to another waiting area to take a seat. I have this thing down and it’s only day 3.

Then I waited…I grabbed an old Good Housekeeping magazine and began flipping through…Brownie came out of the radiation room and told me it would be “a few more minutes”.  I wondered if their ‘few minutes’ meant the same as mine. My crossed leg started swinging.  I looked at my watch; I had already been there longer than my entire time yesterday and I wondered if I was going to be late for work.  Angst began rising…wondered if I should say something…sounded like they were having a lot of fun back there! Grrrrrr.

About that time, my frail friend with whom I chatted yesterday appeared from another room, grabbed a rail, and announced that she felt faint.  Her turbaned head was bent down as she tried to regain her equilibrium and a nurse quickly materialized beside her to assist her back to the main waiting room.  She managed a weak smile as they moved past me.

Soon afterward, Brownie and a nurse emerged from the radiation room pushing a man lying  in a hospital bed…

Ah, man- busted, again, for a bad attitude and lack of patience…you know, that difficult fruit of the Spirit that we seldom pray for because (a) God will definitely answer with a resounding yes, and (b) we aren’t convinced it’s really all that important, anyway.  We’re BUSY, right?! We have places to go, people to meet, things to accomplish, schedules to conquer!!  Well, I do. 😉

As a result, the patience fruit atrophies on the vine and we pretend we can get along just as well with the rest of the fruit in the basket.

But you see?  That’s the thing; we can’t.  I mean, isn’t that kind of like treating God like the deli or a doughnut shop?  ‘I’ll take that and that and that, um, but not that or that. But hey, thanks!’  No, I don’t want to choose peace and joy, but pass on patience; I want ALL of His traits, even when I keep stumbling around and failing…like today.

Did you know that the Greek word for patience means”to be long-suffering”?  Probably.  “It is the quality of a person able to avenge himself, but refrains from doing so” (The Complete Word Study Dictionary:New Testament). But something else I learned recently from a Beth Moore study was that patience is inspired by mercy.

Wow.  What if Jesus had decided to avenge Himself on the cross that dark day?  What if  the mercy and patience of God had not prevailed then…or later in my life?

Or now?



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