Friday, October 18, 2013

Patient, Impatient, Un-patient

This week I finished my radiation treatments. Now, all that remains is 2 months of chemo infusions. All of 2013, I've been someone's “patient.” I have also been often “impatient.” When my cancer treatments end in December, will I be an “un-patient?”

You’ll probably tell me I think too much (the bane of a writer who loves words), but have you ever considered the correlation between these two words: “patient” (a person receiving medical treatment) and “patient” (tolerating delays without becoming irritable)? Both words derive from the same Greek word pathos: suffering. A good patient (sufferer) must be patient (suffer well).

I've realized this year that we are all God’s patients (pruning comes to mind), and that God has graciously given us the gift of “patience” so we'll be able to suffer even as Christ did (Gal. 5:22; 1 Pet 4:1). Of the things I've learned as a patient in 2013, two stand out: 1) God desires patient patients, and 2) because I am under the care of a patient God, I could never be an “un-patient.”

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