If you click a switch and nothing happens, do you lose your patience?

“The testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:3-4

In Africa, life demanded patience. I grew accustomed to waiting for the sick to arrive at a clinic, waiting for taxis, and then waiting for other passengers to fill the taxis before we could leave. Over the years I could wait for hours without complaining.

I was the health facilitator over the region in which my staff and I treated from 3,000-5, 000 patients every month. I spent the last couple of days each month compiling the requested report for the agency that donated our vehicle. I filled out 40 columns for the 72 villages with the exact number of men, women, children, and cases of worms, malaria, anemia and more.

In 1988, a short-term missionary showed me a spreadsheet on a computer she had brought with her. She taught me how to type in the numbers each day, so at the end of the month, I pressed a key and it calculated. Wow! It was a labor-saving device. She sold me her computer because she wanted a faster one.

When I returned to the States and saw the newest computers, I wanted one.

I don’t know when it happened, but I lost my patience. Today, if it takes longer than thirty seconds for a computer or television to start, I become impatient.

We need patience to maintain our sanity and grow as Christians. For how else will we ever become perfect and complete? I should pray that God restores my patience, but that’s a scary prayer because lots more will happen forcing me to develop patience.



About celestecharlene

I served as a medical missionary in West Africa for thirty years treating the sick and establishing health clinics in rural neglected areas.
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2 Responses to If you click a switch and nothing happens, do you lose your patience?

  1. Lillian Humphries says:

    So true Celeste. Good words for us all to live by.

  2. Martin LaBar says:

    Yes. Most of us, including me, don’t have much patience — with anything. But it’s one of the fruits of the Spirit.

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