Why is patience such an impatient attribute to acquire?! I admit that many times I am an impulsive, impatient person but God is working with me on that. Don’t ask for patience unless you are willing to endure tribulation for “Tribulation worketh patience,” (Romans 5:3) Praise God for my counterpart: a methodical patient husband.
I’m afraid I’ve never been one to read many instruction manuals. Too impatient. In fact my first college slogan professed: “Learn While Doing.” Perfect, I thought! Especially for someone who enjoys hands-on experience while learning.
There is only one Instruction Manual I read extensively and that’s God’s Word. God gave us the Ultimate Training Tool. Everything we need to sustain life we find within its covers! He advises us how we can get healthier mentally, spiritually and physically. All we must do is read and do as it says. Sure, easy, peasy . . . riiiiggght.
But some prefer to skip it and attempt to live by their own rules.
“In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.” (Judges 21:25)
I’ve always viewed life as a chess game, envisioning possible obstacles in front of me before proceeding. Do I have all the parts, which direction will this piece go, is this safe and so on. To me it’s all about common sense. I don’t need to read an instruction manual to know never to place a knife in a toaster nor put a hairdryer alongside a sink full of water.
But as a counselor, God opened my eyes to be “patient with patients.” I began to view them through His Eyes. To love them as He loves them. But it was frustrating at times.
I needed to strengthen my tolerance level with those who wished to lose weight, get healthier, have more energy, glowing skin (whatever) and yet refused to give up the junk to reach that goal. As my dear mother would say, If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. There is no such thing as instant gratification without hours of dedication, a goal and desire!
For example, I had one patient who was consuming 13 medications per day and wanted to get off of them. One of her pills was for edema (bloating.) She was addicted to sodas but refused to give them up. I explained the best way to relieve bloating is to wean off sodas by increasing pure water.
“Nah, Ellie, I hate water!”
“Well then, create a flavored seltzer drink (no sodium) with a small amount of real fruit or orange juice or place cucumber slices and strawberries in a large water jar.”
“Oh that’ll taste awful, no way!”
Next I created a personal menu with lots of wholesome foods and nutritious fiber to assist with weight loss and control her Type 2 diabetes.
“I hate vegetables.”
“Well you can’t hate all vegetables, so which ones do you like?”
She rattled off a list and I incorporated them into a diet plan.
The following week I noticed she hadn’t followed her plan. Hardly any veggies in her food diary. (But bless her heart, she was honest and put down all her fast food orders.) When asked why she hadn’t increased her vegetable count she replied, “Have you seen the cost of vegetables lately?!”
Sure, more expensive than fast food and all the medications she was on? Sigh.
She wished to get well without accepting any personal sacrifice to reach it. First, a patient needs to want to get healthier more than I want it for them.
Follow the Manual: Genesis 1:29 & 9:3 . . . a smart first step.