Week one of patience, whoop whoop! Well maybe not whoop whoop. We all know patience is a tough thing and probably one of the most challenge fruit of the spirit. So as we begin this fresh month looking at patience I am praying for us all. Deciding to look at this means we are going to be pushed to our limits, and if we want to grow in patience we must be willing to accept situations where we need to show patience. We will be learning how to do it/not do it from some of our favourite bible characters. This week we looked at Hannah….
The story of Hannah is one of waiting, and not knowing if anything will happen. Hannah desperately wanted a child, but was barren. Her husband’s other wife at the time was very fruitful, so you can imagine her pain. We read in our verse that this wasn’t just a short term thing, but that it went on “year after year”. Poor Hannah was childless and she didn’t know if or when it would end.
Sometimes we have awful situations and we don’t know when they are likely to end. But through the Spirit living inside us, we can keep going knowing that the Lord will sustain us through it, and that our prayers will be answered at just the right time. Patience is being willing to wait for as long as necessary.
Patience when provoked
The second thing we learn in this verse is that Hannah didn’t just have her own thoughts and disappointment to deal with, but that she also had a rival provoking her to make matters worse. Our own thoughts can be tough enough to deal with, without adding judgment from others when we are going through tough times. But when we have the Spirit living inside us we can have the strength to keep waiting and keep going through that. Patience is being wiling to wait even when the world ridicules you for it.
Patience alongside God
When we read the next couple of verses, we find that Hannah doesn’t suffer in silence. No. She knows that in order to carry on being patience and to seek a way out of her situation she has to turn to God. And she pleads with God in prayer for the child she so desperately wants. So much is her desire to have a child coupled with her trust in God to fulfill that, that she promises to give the child up to serve God if he answers that prayer. God faithfully answers, and Hannah faithfully follows through on her end of the promise. Samuel is given to the temple when he is weaned. Patience is knowing who to turn to in the waiting.
Turning patience into praise
Hannah waited patiently and saw her answer to prayer. Was she sad that she then had to give up her child to God? No! In 1 Samuel 2 we see Hannah praising God for all she has been through, for his power in the situation. There is no mention of how long she had to wait. No moaning that she had to be patient in it. The time it took to answer her prayer doesn’t matter because it was answered!
How often do we moan all the way through situations, and then even when the prayer is answered we moan about how long it took? Patience is accepting the wait and being thankful for it. Patience is knowing that God works in the waiting and praising him for that.
The lovely Naomi from Life by Naomi will be writing up next week’s verse over her blog (where you can also catch last weeks final look at peace). We will be moving on to look at the character of Abraham and how he did/did not display patience, focusing on this verse:
“Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” Genesis 17:17
I hope you will join us in meditating on this. If you would like to have access to more resources to help you study this, including free lock screens and worksheets, then sign up below to our Mummy Meditations Community: