Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone. (Prov. 25:15)
She was a beginning reader, but it was clear she would have difficulty learning. I tried to help her memorize Bible verses each week, and after she learned to read a few words, she boldly declared that she wanted to learn the verse “all by herself.” Did I mention her independent streak? I knew that she wouldn’t be able to read most of the words by herself and she would become frustrated. I asked her to spell out the words she didn’t know, but she rejected that option.
Her older sister calmly and patiently asked if she could help. Little sister started to cry, “I just can’t do it.” We knew that she could do it, but it would require our help. Big sister quietly said, “Let’s act it out.” She then begin to create actions for all the words. And together, they said (and acted out) the verse. It was beautiful to watch them work together!
The gift of patience—being able to see an outcome beyond what is currently visible and calmly, persistently encouraging someone towards that outcome—can be such a gift to others. I am so thankful that God is patient with me and persistently keeps loving me and leading me to be more like him.
Choose to be lovingly patient with the diamond-in-the-rough near you.
Belinda Selfridge is a Wesleyan pastor, Tri-State district administrator, OKWU adjunct professor, motorcyclist, creative frugalist, singer, and bass player.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.