Ezer Equipped | Fruit of the Spirit: Patience

Topics: Ezer Equipped, Fruit Of The Spirit, Patience

I might be one of the most internally impatient people. I have a barrage of complex health issues, a job, a marriage, three unique children, two dogs (one disabled), and the responsibility list goes on and on. I often find myself in a state of anxiety. What am I missing? Who needs what from me right now? My inner narrative continuously propels me to the next thing. There is a layer of truth in this for most women—the never-ending list of things we should be doing. My friends know I view “should” as a swear word. I have rebelled against shaming myself into “should-ing.” As I have pondered the idea of biblical patience over the past month, it’s easy to identify what patience is not. But building a framework of what patience is seems more complex.

One of my routines is falling asleep to meditative prayer, and it’s been so helpful. The more difficult my day, the more I want to collapse into the bed and lean into the truth of Scripture. After one particularly long day, the topic was perseverance. The next morning, I looked up the definition: doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. These two words—patience and perseverance—have been ruminating in my mind for weeks now.

I have battled serious women's health issues since I was a teenager. I have 30+ surgical procedures under my belt, and I am still impatient for healing. Perseverance for the past 20(ish) years has looked like finding the best doctors, medications, the “best” of whatever because THAT is the thing that will bring healing. I have prayed the prayers, read the Psalms, eastern medicine, western medicine, and functional medicine. You name it, I have a guy. The reality is, I am still broken. I get up each morning and take care of myself and the never-ending list of responsibilities. But I am weary, tired of persevering. After spending long periods of my life in bed, my tenacity has dwindled. It hurts to miss life because you are flat on your back, broken, isolated, and in pain. I am impatient to be healed on this side of heaven.

I have reached a place in my health where there are not a lot more medical “things” to be done. I maintain the best I can, and I endure. This is where the next thing transitions from earthly to heavenly. I get the choice to live my life in a space where I am patient with myself, my body, my thoughts, and my soul.

Perseverance looks like doing the next thing with intention. I am so quick to pour out grace on others and bring the judgment hammer down on myself. The Lord is patient with me, yet I am not willing to respond with gratitude because I am so busy doing the next thing. When I slow down and use my limited capacity to honor God, I find patience. I can choose to move through life with intention and grace, or criticize a daughter of the king and “should” myself to death. I choose to trust Christ and be patient with his timing because I know he persevered for me (Philippians 2:5–11). May the Holy Spirit fill us with the strength to be patient in whatever the Lord has for us.

Jessica Sterling

For the Ezer Equipped Newsletter Team


John 11:17-35

After reading Jessica’s story, I’m struck by how patience is often not waiting until we get what we want, but trusting God and persevering when we may never get what we want in this life. I’ve recently been captivated by the story of Mary and Martha in John 11, and I can see this principle played out in their response to Jesus. It’s easy to jump to the part where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead, but I’d like us to sit in the moments right before that. Mary and Martha are in circumstances they have no control over—grieving the loss of their brother and the absence of their friend Jesus. They don’t know that Jesus will bring Lazarus back; they’re just persevering through this moment of heartbreak.

Think through these questions as you read:

  • How can you see patience and perseverance in Mary and Martha’s words to Jesus in this passage?
  • Based on Jesus’ response to Mary and Martha (in his words and his actions), what are we persevering for? Why can we trust Jesus when he doesn’t show up for us in the way we want him to?

Whitney Maness

For the Ezer Equipped Newsletter Team


As we reflect on both Jessica’s story and John 11, let’s take some time to think through how God desires us to grow in patience and perseverance. Use these questions personally, with a friend, or in a group context.

  • In what areas of your life are you most impatient? Typically, these include people and circumstances outside our control. What would it look like for you to move towards trusting God in these areas?
  • It’s tempting to be driven by our never-ending lists. What is one “next thing” God is calling you to do with perseverance and intentionality?
  • Spend some time reflecting on God’s patience with you personally. Express your gratitude to him—write out a prayer or share with a trusted friend.

Sarah Bailey

For the Ezer Equipped Newsletter Team