Patience is a virtue that Johann Wolfgang von Goethe likened to the willow leaf. This 17th century German writer and statesman said, “A leaf that is destined to grow large is full of grooves and wrinkles at the start. Now if one has no patience and wants it smooth offhand like a willow leaf, there is trouble ahead.” These leaves are shiny, thin and 2-4 inches long. But of course, they do not start off so large and smooth. It will take lots of sunshine, water and time to get to this stage.
Today’s verse is an encouragement. That elusive quality of patience is something that comes, not from ourselves, but from His power. The believer is strengthened with power from His glorious might to have great endurance and patience. It is not something we can naturally muster up on our own. Over time, He develops it in us as we become more like Him. It is part of the work He does in us (Phil. 1:6). And more often than not, this quality of patience grows out of living through difficulties.
In the space of three days, I had ample opportunity to show patience. After experiencing jet lag, toilet emergencies, roof leaks, and a power outage, it was almost comical….almost. My leaves are still not so large and smooth. There are still plenty of rough edges! But God’s reassurance of His control calmed me down. I am thankful that being in His Word has encouraged me and helped me stay in that place of quiet confidence (Rom. 15:4). Things may fall apart around me, but I don’t want to fall apart too!
Lord, thank you for Your strength and patience!