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How to Develop Patience
Reverend Bernadette Voorhees
March 20, 2022
All Rights Reserved
God is mighty in the midst of me. At that special point, at the very center of by being, I become aware of the one presence, the one power, the one activity – God, mighty in the midst of me. I let go what lies behind me. I put aside what lays ahead for me. I dwell wholly in the now and wholly in the presence and the power and the activity of God, mighty in the midst of me.
God in the midst of me is mighty to heal me. God’s mighty healing life flows through me, through every atom, cell, and organ of my being. God’s mighty healing energy touches every fiber of my being, and I am made whole.
God in the midst of me is mighty to prosper me. God is prosperity, and that prosperity moves through me and through my life. God in the midst of me moves through every circumstance and condition, through every person with whom I come in contact. God in the midst of me is mighty to prosper me.
God in the midst of me is might to bring peace, joy, and love to my every experience. God is peace. God is joy. God is love. And God is in the midst of me. I take a minute now, in the stillness, in the gentleness of this moment, and I just know God, Mighty in the midst of me.
God is mighty in the midst of me. This is the Truth about me, so I go forth this evening made whole and prosperous. I go forth this evening with a sense of peace, joy and love for God is mighty in the midst of me, and I express God to all those around me.
God, for Your living presence in the midst of me, I do give thanks. Amen.
HOW TO DEVELOP PATIENCEI have a true story to share with you today that took place in Abilene, Kansas. A 13-year-old boy fell and skinned his left knee one day as he was coming home from school. It really wasn't more than a scratch. There wasn't even a rip in his trousers. But by nighttime his knee had started to ache. At bedtime, he ignored the pain, knelt by his bed in his pajamas and said his prayers as he always did.
The next morning his leg was painful, but he still didn't tell anyone. You see he lived on a farm and was up before six in the morning to do his chores before school. Well, two mornings later, the leg ached too badly for him to drag himself to the barn. It was Sunday, so he could stay home while the rest of the family drove into town for church. He had finished his homework, so he sat in the family rocker, comparing the three family Bibles. One was German. It held all the records of the family's births and deaths. Another was Greek, and his father's prized possession. The third was the King James Version of the Bible that was shared by the mother and the sons. One night this week it would be his turn to lead the family devotions.
He could select his own passages from the Old and New Testament, and he could read them aloud and try to get a discussion going. Discussions in the family were often very exciting. But the pain in his leg, made it hard for him to concentrate. He put aside the three Bibles and slept until his brothers returned from Sunday school. When it was time for dinner, he didn't feel like going downstairs. His foot was now so swollen that his shoe had to be cut off. When his mother saw it, she said, “Why in the world didn’t you tell somebody?” Turning to one of his brothers she said, "Go quick and get the doctor." Meanwhile, his mother bathed his knee, applied poultices, and wiped the boy's sweating forehead with a cool, moist cloth.
The doctor came and examined the boy’s leg and said, "If things get any worse, we'll have to amputate." "No," said the boy, "I would rather die than have my leg amputated." His parents were shaken, as the boy called his brother Ed. He made Ed promise to stand guard outside his door and to promise that he wouldn't let them cut off his leg. Ed did just that. He stood at the door with his arms folded protecting his younger brother. The doctor argued with the boy’s parents, and they might have wavered if Ed hadn't stood guarding the door. For two days and two nights, Ed stood guard, sleeping on the threshold of the door. He didn't even eat while his fevered brother babbled and screamed in torment. The boy’s father, mother and four other brothers realized that they had forgotten their faith in this moment. What they needed was a miracle. Now, in this desperate hour, they went down on their knees at the boy's bedside and prayed. They took turns with the farm work so that they could stay continually in prayer. When the doctor, returned the next day and saw that the swelling was going down, he offered his own Prayer of Thanksgiving. The family kept up their Prayer Vigil. Three weeks later, pale, and weak, the boy could stand up and young Ike Eisenhower was ready once again to face life.
When we hear stories about people with courage and resolve, we may wonder what in the world gave them that dose of courage and resolve. Perhaps it is because they have lived through a time of darkness earlier in their life and kept their trust in God. They have held on with Spiritual Patience.
Now, what if Spiritual Patience hadn’t come to play in this story? The ending and history as we know it would most likely have been quite different. Ike would have been a boy with only one leg. He wouldn't have been able to go into Military Service. He wouldn't have become a great General during the War and probably wouldn't have become President. It was Ike’s spiritual patience that led to his greatness.
What is spiritual patience? Spiritual patience is trust inside of you—absolute trust in God. There is a saying that goes, "I want it all and I want it now." Have you ever said or felt that? What’s the motivation behind that kind of impatient attitude? Why do we have to have it now? Is it because we don't trust God enough? Or is it because we don't have enough faith in ourselves to keep on keeping on knowing that with God everything is going to work out for the good & best for all concerned. People who know when and how to hold on can make a difference in this world. They do it by having faith in something greater than themselves. And one step at a time, one phase at a time, we learn to accept our good as it comes to us. Robert Louis Stevenson once said, "To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive and the true success is to labor.” Think about that.
When you are hoping for something in your life, what is your mental attitude while you are waiting? You are either very patient waiting for it to come and allowing the seed to grow, or you are just waiting for the moment when you will give up and say, “It’s never going to happen.” Imagine a farmer standing in his field with his arms crossed, saying, "Gee, I was here yesterday and the day before and the day before that and there is still no stalk of corn." So, he digs up the seed and says, "This is all I'm ever going to have" And so he puts the seed in his mouth and eats it. For God to work the miracle of the stalk of corn turning a relationship around, a business to prosper, or a leg or body to heal, often takes time. We must be willing for God’s perfection to come forth from inside of us. Now, it can't come out if we are saying, "I want it. I want it now. Why isn't it coming!” That's like the farmer going into the field and digging up the seed every five minutes. You can surely see how that hurts rather than helps the process. For something good to come to you, it’s going to have to come through you. And for it to come through you, you must let go and let God and have all that wondrous activity that God is at secretly at work inside your life. The job of our human mind is to extract all the blessings and benefits of each step of life. The object is not to reach the goal, but to learn to enjoy the journey on the way to our goal. For that we must have faith. We must know that God is with us and working in our lives. We must know that we are not alone. We must develop hope and Spiritual Patience that realizes that God works in perfect time and in perfect ways and that time is much higher than our time and those ways are much more powerful than human ways alone.
To look up and not down is faith. To look forward and not back is hope. We must learn to be patient with God. We must learn to be patient with ourselves. That's hard for many of us. We can be patient with God, but if we're always wishing that we were different in some way or another we must learn to be patient with ourselves. God is not finished with any of us yet. You and I are continually unfolding and ever regenerating into a new, better, and more evolve creature. That’s the Truth about you and I and the Truth about everyone we know. So, we must also learn to be patient with others. The Christ Mind will reveal things inside our human mind, as we need to know them, unless we stand in our own way. Emerson once said something that I love about this. He said, "Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in our own sunshine." That's a truth of life, Whenever I don't have light in my life, it's because I'm standing between God and the manifestation that I want to have.
I have outlined seven ideas to help you to increase your Spiritual Patience.
1. Hold to the realization that your mind is like a parachute. It only functions when it remains open. You must open your mind and be willing to have new ideas come through. You are not alone at any time. That is the first thing to realize. Notice that, I didn't say, “It is the first thing you need to hear.” I said realize. A realization of God’s Presence and Power is something that happens to you at depth. It’s an inner feeling, a deep sense of knowing. Say to yourself right now, as you read this transcript, “I am not alone, there is something bigger right here with me. There is something I can't see with my physical eyes, but it's here and it’s working. It's bringing to me all good. It never brings bad."
2.You must develop a Positive In-Look to have a Positive Out-Look. Do you trust the light of God to lead you unerringly to your highest good? Step by step, through the activities and experiences of your life, God is guiding you closer to your goal which is the full expression of your Spiritual Nature. We need to have patience when we think that we fail. It happens to all of us. I've failed approximately 2,365,000 times, but hey, but who’s counting! It is going to happen again because things don’t always happen in my time and on my terms. “My ways are not your ways, thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts.” On the human level we learn by cause and effect until we learn to live in Grace. Here is what Confucius said eons ago about it. "Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising every time we fall." Now, if you are down, if you feel defeated about something and say, "I give up. I'm never going to get up again," then you have impatience. You are giving power to the human self instead of the God self. You are giving power to the idea that you don't have a God at that moment; that somehow God has left you. In Unity we say that is ‘an untrue or error thought’. When you catch yourself holding a negative outlook, you know that what you need is spiritual patience. Tell yourself; “I am going to hold on even though I feel rotten at that moment. I’m going to hold on and know that with God all things are possible, and everything is going to work out for good.” God uses everything, including what we judge to be failures for an ultimate great expression of good in our lives.
3. You are the window from which you see your world. Through my two physical eyes, I have two picture windows and I am viewing everything from this Hotel Suite of my head. If I don't see one presence and one power, I have clogged vision, my windows are clouded, and I don't have trust, hope and patience in God. If I don't have these three spiritual qualities, I'm going to see a distortion of physical reality (as lack). So, if I'm going to look out the picture windows called ‘my eyes’ I must see God, what is Real back of everything my physical eyes see as the physical world. I must change my perception inside from fear to faith. The best way I know to do this is to trust in a bigger God; to know that God is with me every moment and to slow down and not be in such a rush in life.
4. When a challenge comes into your life, realize that there is something greater in the challenge than what meets your eye. Realize that God is with you. You are not going to give in, give up or quit. You are not going to make the challenge your God. You're going to make God your God.
5. Accept that change happens. Charles Fillmore co-founder of Unity said,“I guarantee you one thing and that is that change happens.” Change comes. Change happens. But how do you deal with change? Most of us don't deal with it at all. We want things to stay the same. When change happens, remember to have hope and to look forward and not back to the past. Know that your good is going to be even better in the future that in the past. Go through change with an attitude of expectance and trust in God.
6. Through every step, every moment of the day, walk your faith. Know, with continuous prayer, that God is with you.
7. Make a decision that you are not going to be agitated or in a rush. You are going to know that God is unfolding good for you, and you are going to wait upon the Lord with an open mind and open arms ready to accept it when it comes. You're going to know that you can only see a small part of the tapestry of God. There is a greatness that is unfolding, even though you can't see it all in the given moment. Romans 8:28 says, “In everything God works for good." Not in some things, not for only some people but also in everyone's life, “God works for good.” Jesus said, "Do these things."
Let’s close this lesson by affirming "I AM FAITH FILLED AND PATIENT AS GOD'S LIGHT LEADS ME TO MY HIGHEST GOOD.” Amen.
What do you think?
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