Stopped Short by Patience (a poem by Dorothy Walker)

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

Dorothy Walker wrote the following words about patience in 2010. She’s graciously allowed me to share them with you.

✦ ✦ ✦

Patience means standing under pressure, staying present, not running away. But I – often desperate to stop pain – try to get out from under my trial. I’m skittish about pressure, and my skittishness slows the good work of Christ in me. I have difficulty with patience.

Sometimes when I read the Word, the Holy Spirit suddenly intrudes and makes a word or phrase come alive. I stop short. I read it again. The message seems so personal, as if spoken directly to me. And so it is. “Stopped Short” describes my encounter with the Spirit when He made the word patience come alive.

Stopped Short
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience…and then I pause.
The soft word Patience catches, shimmers,
While within, the Spirit whispers my flaws:
I race through trials before they get dimmer.

The cadence marches on…Kindness, Goodness.
Under pressure, standing firm is my call,
But I want out Now from the heaviness,
O Lord of Lasting Love, I’m feeling small.

…Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-control.
The drum roll ends. Heavy, ripe, bursting fruit.
Lord, please transform my vision; make it whole
So that Patience digs deep and takes root.

Where I see stress, show me your faithful heart
Lest my fear rob ripeness of your good mark.

My Prayer:
Lord, change my sight to a longer view. Allow trials to build patience in me. Teach me to stand under pressure. Focus my gaze on your faithful heart. Develop in me depth and fragrance. Gift me with your ripe, bursting fruit. Gift me with patience.

✦ ✦ ✦

A Note from Lynne
I was particularly touched by the last line of Dorothy’s poem: Lest my fear rob ripeness of your good mark. May God show each of us what robs His fruit from fully ripening in our lives and set us free to experience a lush harvest.

Stopped Short by Patience
© Dorothy Walker and Lynne Fox, 2010, 2014

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