Patience in the Process

22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! (Galatians 5:22-23)

For the last 10 years or so, I have canned foods on and off. I’m not consistent with it, but when I decide to can the foods again, I always review the directions to make sure I don’t forget a step and to ensure the canning is done properly to avoid botulism. Botulism is a disease of the nervous system acquired from spoiled foods in which botulin is present, especially improperly canned or marinated foods. It can be fatal at times. So cutting corners in canning is never a good thing. But as I once again reviewed my instructions and watched some videos on certain foods to can, I noticed more videos and articles where a step or two may be left out with comments such as “been doing this for years and nothing has happened yet.” or “this is the way my grandmother did it and she lived to be 100!” That may be, but there can always be that one case where someone is not so lucky, or worse yet, they may share their goods with others and make them sick as well. So proper processing of canned foods is essential to avoid serious illness or worse.

Sometimes we may leave certain ingredients out of a recipe or substitute one ingredient for another that is lower in fat. Though the final product may be ok, in some recipes it may change the texture or taste of a food and sometimes may even ruin the food altogether such as it not raising properly. Sometimes when we are in a hurry and the baking or cooking is taking to long, we may try to speed it up or cut it slightly short causing the food to not taste as well or be under cooked or overcooked. This is all because we did not want to follow the directions thoroughly or allow the processing time to be complete.

When we are trying to heal from something or overcome an addiction, we must be patient, follow what God says in His Word, and allow the time of the process to be completed. Not everyone heals or overcomes at the same rate. So we must not compare ourselves to others nor should we allow people to set a time limit on us. This doesn’t mean we stretch out the process because we don’t want to give up our habit or heal quickly (as our situation can become a comfort zone), but it means we must learn to be patient as God works with us and restores us back to good health, whatever that may be for each person (emotionally, physically, spiritually). If we skip some of His scripture because we do not want to take the time to do it, or we add something or take away something and change what He has told us to do, we may not heal properly. We may think we are ok and seem ok and even pass along the advice to others, but we may not see the true damage until later on down the road when something triggers us and we can’t handle the situation as well as we could have if we had continued doing what God had said to do in His Word. We could also hinder or harm others in their healing as well if we passed on wrong information that adds more to God’s instructions or takes away from it. Following God’s Word as He intended is extremely important in overcoming any addiction, healing from past and current hurts, or dealing with our problems.

Romans 5:3-5 states:

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.

Not only do we need patience, but we need endurance as well. The dictionary states that endurance is the ability or strength to continue to last especially despite fatigue, stress or other adverse conditions. The more you allow yourself to process through your situation and not take shortcuts or cut short the healing process, the stronger you will become and the more you will be able to handle and walk through your situation. It will build and strengthen your character to produce God’s character in you, the fruit of the Spirit. Your faith in God to help you will be tested during your process, and the Word of God states that your endurance will grow when your faith is tested, so let it grow! We can find this and the reason we should allow it to grow in James 1:3-4:

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.

If we cut the process short or add to or take away from God’s instructions for our lives, we may not see that growth or receive the full healing we desire. But when we fully stick with God’s instructions in our situations, and follow what He tells us to do we can expect, in time, to receive healing for our heart and mind and/or overcome any problem or addiction.

Take some time to think about where you are at in your healing process or situation. Are you doing what God is telling you to do according to His Word though it may be different from what the world is telling you to do? Are you adding in some worldly ways or ideas or are you cutting out some of the instructions to try and shorten the process? Are you receiving help from and listening to godly people or are you listening to and mixing in ideas and ways that are  worldly? Take a moment and ask God to show you where you’re at in the process, and then allow Him the time to show you. You won’t regret it.