June 23 – Are You Getting Grumpy?

Do you find that you’re running out of patience a little these days? Are you tired of staying home most of the time? Are you missing your friends? Do you wish restaurants would open – so tired of making ALL the meals? Are you hoping that somehow vacation plans will come back? Are you getting annoyed at all the people who do not wear masks and bump into you at the grocery store? Are you thinking, “Good grief, now I have to find masks since the Windsor Essex area is mandating them for all indoor spaces this week”?

There are so many theories about the pandemic circulating out there. Some claim the virus is mutating to something less virulent. Others say absolutely not. Some say we should throw away precautionary measures and just let everyone get sick and build up immunity. Others say the death toll will be too high to do something like that, and that the virus will “kill off” the most vulnerable among us? Some doctors and politicians are talking about the mental health toll the pandemic is taking. It’s definitely a confusing hard time, and I suspect patience is wearing thin. (By the way, I’m on the cautionary side of the debate.)

I started looking for verses for the devotions that talk about patience. I had in mind verses that would encourage us to be patient. But the verses that struck me first were verses about God’s patience. Let’s take a look:

1 Timothy 1:16 NLT

“But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.”

Romans 2:4 NLT

“Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?”

2 Peter 3:9 NLT

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is
being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.”

Heavenly Father, forgive me for being so irritable and grumpy about things that really don’t matter when I look at them from an eternal perspective. I have to admit that every day, I do things (or think things) that don’t live up to your standards of behaviour. I am a sinner. First of all, I thank you for adopting me as your child through Jesus’ sacrifice for me. Thank you for being so patient with me as your Holy Spirit works in my life to bring me closer to you. Thank you for your patience with all mankind, as you wait for everyone to turn to you. Help me to see where your patience is focused so that I don’t get caught up with trivial things, but rather align with you.

When I look at the things that make me irritable and impatient, I have to pray for forgiveness and for the strength to turn my pathetic attitude around. One of the ways that God helps us to grow is to put us through hard times. I know we’d prefer that wouldn’t happen, but I think we all have to admit, that we don’t learn that much from easy, good times. When life is sailing along smoothly, we tend to coast along oblivious to making any changes. We think we have everything under control. I know from my own experiences in life, the times that have changed me the most and made me more reliant on God have been the hard times. That’s when I faced the reality that I was not in control, and often that I needed to change my attitude and priorities.

James 1:2-8 NLT

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete,
needing nothing. …”

I am so thankful that during hard times, God is present – the Holy Spirit is at work in each one of us. It’s not a case of absolute determination on our part. Yes, we are thinking individuals made in the image of God, but we also must admit we need God’s help to make the necessary changes.

Psalm 40:1 NLT

“I waited patiently for the LORD to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.”

Colossians 1:11 NLT

“We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy.”

Galatians 5:22 NLT

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…”

We can be sure of this:

Romans 8: 26 – 28 NLT

“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in
words. 27 And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will. 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”

So, if you are finding this pandemic time frustrating, let’s pray for God’s patience. As we pray, God can give us ideas of how to handle our impatience. We may need to spend some time in prayer asking God to show us what is making us so frustrated. Maybe we can start looking for practical ways that we can spread God’s love and patience to those around us – our families, our neighbours, our community. Is there a person I can help in some way? Is there any organization that I could support? (For example, could you be a driver for Miracle June 27 food drive? This is an effort to collect non-perishable food for those in need.) Is there someone who could be cheered up with a gift of home-cooked items, or with a phone call, or with an invitation for coffee in my backyard? Start thinking and praying about how God can use you in these difficult times.

Romans 12:12 NLT

“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.”

Our song for today is Be Still My Soul (In You I Rest\) by Kari Jobe

Be still, my soul, The Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently, the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God, to order and provide
In every change, He faithful will remain
Be still, my soul, thy best thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways, leads to a joyful end

Be still, my soul, thy God doth undertake
To guide the future as He has the past
Thy hope, thy confidence, let nothing shake
All now mysterious shall be bright at last
Be still, my soul, the waves and wind still know
His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below

In You I rest, in You I found my hope
In You I trust, You never let me go
I place my life within Your hands alone
Be still, my soul

Be still, my soul, the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored
Be still, my soul, when change and tears are past
All safe and blessed, we shall meet at last

In You I rest, in You I found my hope
In You I trust, You never let me go
I place my life within Your hands alone
Be still, my soul

In You I rest, in You I found my hope
In You I trust, You never let me go
I place my life within Your hands alone
Be still, my soul
Be still, my soul
Be still, my soul

6 Replies to “June 23 – Are You Getting Grumpy?”

  1. It all comes down to this:
    28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
    Thank you again Audrey for reminding me of Whom is still in charge. He has been and still is so patient with me that I in turn can be patient with all of this.

  2. Patience is needed as we stay in Stage 1 while everyone else is moving on. Perhaps, we here are being kept from something worse and so I need the patience to wait, thanks for the reminder.

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