Like millions of people, I love to celebrate Christmas. Unfortunately, it also can be a very stressful time of the year.
Patience – loads of it – is what I need, so I don’t lose my joy in this happiest season of all.
I find that many of the things that test my patience are either petty or pointless. I grumble that the checkout line is too slow.
I whine about how much shopping, cooking and cleaning I have to do. And it annoys me that a couple of light bulbs on my Christmas tree don’t work.
One day, my husband had enough of my antsy attitude. He looked me in the eye and said, “I know you know that none of your complaints matter to most families around the world – right?”
Wow, talk about open rebuke. But did I straighten up after that!
In Colossians 1:9-12 (NIV), Apostle Paul was forthright about his prayer for the church in Colossae. He urged the believers to please God in every way. And he reminded them that they were:
being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.”
Christmas or not, we ought to exercise patience if we are to live a life that pleases God.
God Himself is very patient. He is slow to anger and abundant in loving-kindness. He enables us to be patient so we can bear good fruit and win the battles that really matter.
In Kenya, for example, Food for the Hungry’s (FH) care and prevention program brings hope to people living with HIV/AIDS. It can be very scary for those in severely affected areas to submit themselves to HIV/AIDS testing. But because of the patient support of FH staff and community leaders, many people now undergo treatment.
Many more are learning to overcome fear and discrimination.
This Christmastime, as you gather with family and friends to celebrate our Savior’s birth, please pray for the poor and vulnerable people of Kenya.
Pray that God’s abundant love may sustain them in their daily struggles. And, as a fitting end to your day, or when you tuck your kids into bed, I invite you to read this inspiring story of patience and bravery, which is included in FH’s 12 Days of Christmas children’s ebook.
Blog by Rez Gopez-Sindac, a writer covering faith and development. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her family.