Sunday, December 11, 2011


Romans 5:3-5 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope.

I'm sure we've all heard that infamous prayer: "Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now!" But obviously that's not how it works.

First come the tribulations. And not just tribulations, but tribulations that we glory in.

Hmmmm. I don't think I'm really that good in glorying in tribulations. I might bear them. I might manage to refrain from grumbling about them. I might even, on one of my more enlightened days, see some good that comes out of them. But glory in them? That just doesn't come naturally to me.

Maybe that's why I'm not all that patient.

But I have learned that patience is a good thing. If nothing else, it saves a lot of wasted and useless fretting over things that I can do nothing about. And I firmly believe that patience is something that can be practiced and learned. Maybe it can't be perfected, at least I haven't been able to perfect it, but it can be increasingly improved.

And, necessarily, you can't practice patience unless you have something to be patient about, and that brings us back to tribulations. And learning to appreciate how they mold us into someone better able to face future trial with, you guessed it, patience.

Yes, with that practice comes the experiential knowledge that the patience has been beneficial and will prove beneficial in the future.

And that, my friends, brings hope.

So it seems we have an endless upward spiral. We appreciate the difficulties we go through because they teach us to react in mature ways. And, knowing we have dealt successfully with the troubles we experience, we become more confident that we can face whatever difficulties that the future holds. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Are you normally patient? What makes you impatient?

DeAnna Julie Dodson has always been an avid reader and a lover of storytelling, whether on the page, the screen or the stage. This, along with her keen interest in history and her Christian faith, shows in her tales of love, forgiveness and triumph over adversity. She is the author of In Honor Bound, By Love Redeemed and To Grace Surrendered, a trilogy of medieval romances, and Letters in the Attic, a contemporary mystery. A fifth-generation Texan, she makes her home north of Dallas with four spoiled cats.


  1. Hi, DeAnna,

    Patience. I try so hard to practice it. I think I do fairly well most of the time, and I agree that it is so much easier than worrying and fretting.

    The two things that do make me impatient are when computers don't do what they're supposed to, and when people pull out in front of me on the road, then slam on their brakes and make a left turn.

    Other than that, I do fairly well. :)

  2. This is a fairly tough question. In some ways I'm more and others ...less patient over the years. But I love your reminder, DeAnna.

  3. Yeah, Suzie, one of my pet peeves is when you're on a totally deserted road out in the country, and you see a car at an intersection like half a mile away, and that car waits until you're almost on it before it pulls out in front of you.

    I'm SO not patient about that.

    And computers are great . . . except when they're not.

    I guess, Deb, that I've pretty much decided that fuming takes more energy than I'm willing to expend on it . . . most of the time. ;)

  4. Such an appropriate post for me today. Went outside to get in the car to go to church only to discover the car locked, with keys in ignition. No spare. No AAA here, no locksmith. Called sheriff. Deputy-in-service on other side of county an hour away. *sigh* Thank you, Lord, for the opportunity to yield to the fruit of patience today!

  5. Oh, Niki! What a pain!

    But, yes, glory in it. It's molding you into someone better and better prepared for the future.

    Still stinks. ;)

    Oh, and isn't the Christmas decor for the blog lovely? Well done!

  6. Hey DeAnna, I love the idea of the upward spiral! Nothing like turning a cliche on its head! Good post.

  7. I needed this post today, DeAnna. In some things I'm patient, and others, well, I still have a long way to go. I'm quite impatient with myself, for one thing. This was helpful for me today.

    Lisa does such a nice job with our blog backgrounds. Gorgeous!

  8. Thanks, DeAnna. Yeah, I think I'm patient. I can have a present for me sitting there on the table for days and not get antsy. Well, as long as I don't know what it is. If I know what it is - and it's something I really want - then why leave it there, right?

    So I guess my patience level depends on what's at stake.


  9. I know where you're coming from, Susanne. I get impatient with myself, too. I never seem to get everything done that I need to, and it's nobody's fault but mine!

    Heh heh, I think I'm the opposite, Anita. If I know what it is, it doesn't bother me. But I definitely agree that, if you know what it is, why not go ahead and have it? >:)

  10. I'd say I'm about medium patient. But what really makes me impatient are traffic and long lines.

  11. I've given up longing for patience, because I know it comes only through trials. And praying for patience is like asking God for more trials.

    I remember doing a Bible study a few years back, and seeing that patience, as used in the Bible, has a lot more to do with longsuffering. Going through the trials and not giving up. Not quitting when things become difficult. And I can see how God used all those difficulties to bring patience to my life.

    Only I think I have plenty, thank you very much! (But I'm sure the trials will come anyway. Sigh.)

  12. Yeah, traffic and lines are frustrating, Dina, especially at this time of year. I think I'll do all my shopping on line!

    That's exactly it, Barb. We're going to get trials no matter what. So (easier said than done) we can either handle them well or badly.

    Mostly I think, it's all part of the maturing process.

    No, I'm not very mature. >:)


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