40 Days of Repentance | Day 17: Patience

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I went to Costco this week to do some everyday grocery shopping. Who knew the place would be completely packed on a Thursday at 11:30 in the morning?

Obviously not I, or I probably wouldn’t have gone. The lines to get gas were backed up all the way to the end of the parking lot. I made the mistake of pulling into the first empty spot I could find—right near a 4-way stop. After I had finished shopping and loaded the heavy box of goods into my car, I got into the driver’s seat and started to back out of the spot when I realized I was trapped. There was a long line of cars stopped behind me, each one waiting their turn to go through the stop sign.

I rolled down the window and tried to wave so that someone would let me out, but no one would. Car after car just rolled right by. Occasionally the person in the driver’s seat would glance at me and then hurriedly dart their eyes away as if to pretend they didn’t see me frantically waving them down.

Finally, I decided I’d probably need to be a little more aggressive, so I began to inch my way backwards, hoping that someone would let me out. The woman pulling up behind me was driving an SUV. She gave me a nasty look, shook her head and inched her car forward until it stopped right behind mine.

I was angry at that point—tempted to mutter a few curse words under my breath, when I heard a knock on my driver’s side window. I turned to look and saw another woman standing near my car.

“I’ll help you,” she said.

“Thank you!” I exclaimed with a huff, thinking to myself: “so there are a few nice people left in the world.”

She walked in front of the line of cars and stood there with her hand up, forcing the person next in line to stop until I had backed out of my spot.

During my 2-minute commute home, at first all I could think about was how rude the woman in the SUV was. My inner voice sounded a little something like this:

“What an inconsiderate jerk! Here we are, prepping for a hurricane to possibly hit the city of Charlotte for the first time since Hugo, and this is how people decide to treat each other? We’re panicking before there’s even a reason to panic, fighting over the last few bottles of water on the grocery shelves, and refusing to let strangers back out of their parking spots, because heaven forbid we have to spend an extra 15 seconds in line behind a stop sign! If this is what happens before disaster even strikes, I’d hate to see how people treat each other when the crap really hits the fan! Not sure I want to stick around here for that…”

And then suddenly (as if the Holy Spirit was speaking right to me) I realized how often I have been that woman in the SUV.

I glance away from the man with the cardboard sign on the corner of the intersection, because I don’t have any money to give or time to stop and buy him a meal.

I speed up to prevent a driver from merging into my lane, because I don’t want to get stuck behind a slow person.

In fact, before leaving Costco, I found myself frustrated over people walking too slowly down the grocery aisles. My impatience became obvious as I forced my way around them (with a very large cart) while loudly saying “excuse me…”

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal. 5: 22-23

There are a lot of crazy events happening all around the world right now. Earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, tsunamis, solar flares, and the upcoming “sign in heaven” described in Revelation 12 on September 23. Many are speculating that it may be the beginning of the end or the return of our Messiah.

Meanwhile, we continue treating each other with contempt as reality sets in and panic ensues instead of following the instructions of our Heavenly Father and the example of His Son…

It’s time to wake up. No matter what you believe about the storms that are intensifying around us, repentance is long overdue.

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chr. 7:14

I’m thankful that He asked me to start writing again. Honestly, even if no one reads these blogs, they are an answer to my own prayers. I have been far too caught up in the things of this world, and I can sense Him pulling me away from that and closer to Him with each new post I write.

Prior to starting this series, I asked YHWH to reveal my sin to me so that I could repent, turn my heart towards Him, and experience His blessings. He has answered that prayer on multiple occasions, including this most recent incident at Costco. I was convicted as soon as it happened with a gentle reminder:

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt. 5:44

And the angry thoughts in my head toward the woman in the SUV transformed into prayers that the Father would bless her with His truth and His presence.

These are things we should all be praying for as we approach a potentially perilous season ahead…

This is day 17 in my 40 Days of Repentance series. Click here to read day 16

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