Patience

“Mom, can you get me some lemonade?”

“Hold on sweetie, I’m folding laundry.”

After I finished, the phone rang. After that, it was time to start dinner.

Then, I heard a scream from our family study.

It was my six-year-old son. He had gotten tired of waiting on me to get his lemonade. He got a FULL glass and took it to our study while he played “Animal Jam” on the computer. As I turned the corner walking into the study, I saw the floor, desk and computer drowning in sugary lemonade. In fact, the keys are still sticky as I type this!

Off to time-out he went while I cleaned up the mess.

After his time-out, we talked.

“You know that no food or drinks are allowed in the office. That’s why you got a time-out. I’m sorry you had to wait, but you must learn to have patience.”

As his eyes filled with tears and his little lips quivered, he apologized. I hugged him and said, “I love you, even when you make mistakes. No one is perfect. But, we must learn from our mistakes and not break these rules again.”

Patience is a continual learning process. And, it’s not easy.

In Genesis 16 and 17, we learn that Sarah waited 90 years for a baby. She got impatient. She gave up on God and took things into her own hands. She encouraged her husband, Abraham, to sleep with another woman so they could have a child. Abraham committed adultery with Hagar, who then conceived and gave birth to Ishmael.

Can you imagine that family drama?

When Ishmael was around 13, Sarah FINALLY became pregnant with her own child, Isaac.

“Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age…” Genesis 21:1-2

As they grew, Ishmael and Isaac did not get along. Sarah defended Isaac, so Hagar and Ishmael ended up leaving. In fact, Ishmael became the founder of the Arab nations.

Sarah’s impatience caused much conflict, tension and pain.

Our choices affect others. The consequences of our sin cause turmoil.

But, there’s an even deeper lesson here. Because of their impatience and selfishness, others were hurt. They gave up on God. Conflict and division were created.

But, you know what? God still blessed them.

He gave them the one thing they desperately longed for. Even after their sins, He answered their prayers for a baby.

I love that. Because I mess up so much. Some of my choices have created conflict with those around me. But yet, after all my mistakes … He continues to bless me.

Remember what I told my son after we finished our time-out discussion? I think that’s what God wants us to hear today:

I love you, even when you make mistakes.

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