Whittington: Patience is hard to achieve, though is worth the effort

We were one of the lucky ones during the recent blizzard. We had a nice, warm home, plenty to eat, and our power didn t go out. Waking to blizzard conditions on Sunday I immediately knew church was canceled and we weren t going anywhere that day. It was a nice, peaceful day that allowed me to catch up on some much needed rest after going through several busy days.

The next morning, we woke to blue skies and plenty of sunshine giving the appearance that the worst of the storm was over. It is amazing how much looks can be deceiving. Mark dug out the pickup and shoveled a path to the passenger door for me. We were going to get out for a while and go get a cup of coffee.

With great difficulty Mark got out of the driveway and turned on the street. We had only gone half a block when the truck became stuck in a snow drift. Mark worked going forward and then back until the truck started rolling backward in its tracks. We both decided it was better to go back home rather than risking getting the truck stuck and not being able to get it out.

Moving the snow wasn t an option as one of Mark s tractors was in a building in town and the other one had a flat tire. Unlike in the past, there was no reason to get out and we spent another quiet day at home.

This wasn t always the case. We ran a motel for 28 Ω years and when there was a snowstorm, normal people became agitated. If the roads were closed, they blamed us. When we told them we had talked to the State police, they wanted the number to call for themselves. If they woke up to a day like today, they wanted to be the first one out on the Interstate whether it was open or not. I remember one customer who got in a big hurry and left before the roads were opened. He called Mark the next day and admitted he wished he had listened to Mark when advised to just stay put in Tucumcari. He was stranded between Tucumcari and Santa Rosa for over 12 hours sitting in his car waiting for help.

Now I realize there are those who have no choice and have to be on the road including our first responders. Also when you have animals they need tending to no matter what the weather is like.

The point in all this is to learn there are times when a person needs to listen to common sense and be patient in such a circumstance. However, the word patience isn t in many people s vocabularies. In James 1:4 we read,  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be &wanting nothing . Patience doesn t come easy and it takes a great deal of time to perfect. I sometimes think of the person who says,  I want patience and I want it now . What they don t realize is that patience takes time to develop. It doesn t mean you don t get what you want, when you want it. Instead it means you choose to put aside your wants at that time and are willing to wait on God s timing. James 1:2-3 puts it this way,  My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this that the trying of your faith worketh patience .

It is usually the things of life we have absolutely no control over that tests our patience the most. Instead of fighting against the situation, there are times we need to just give in and let it happen. Find something else to do, or simply use the time to pray or meditate on God s Word. This works the best for me when I am waiting in a doctor s office.

Finally, don t expect patience to happen overnight. It is a life-long process that is difficult to achieve, but well worth the effort.

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