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The end of something is better than its beginning. Patience is better than pride.  Ecclesiastes 7:8 CEB

patienceFrom somewhere deep in slumber, at a time on the clock when it was as much the middle of the night as it could get, something tickled my cheek.

I ignored it. It tickled me again, and this time something also padded gently on my beard. Climbing partially and most unwillingly out of the depths of a sound sleep, I managed to lift a hand at the annoyance to brush it away. Instead of whatever I thought I would brush away, my hand encountered the soft, warm fur of our new ten-week-old kitten, Pumpernickel.

I opened my eyes to find her tiny nose almost touching mine and her whiskers dancing against my cheek. My hand automatically stroked her, and her eyes lit up with excitement. She erupted in a loud purr that sounded like a lawnmower outside my window.

Pumpernickel is still learning the ways of the house. It has been almost a decade since we last trained a new cat to be an inside kitty. I had forgotten how much patience it takes. Everything in the house that could be swatted, poked, batted, chased, pulled, chewed, and otherwise investigated . . . was. Of course, she had a dozen new toys to play with, and she did. But to her bright-green eyes, everything was a toy, especially if it moved.

She is a brilliantly intelligent kitten and voraciously curious about her world. The litter box was no problem for her to learn, and she has been good at understanding the no-go places. She has figured out that the dining room table, kitchen counters, and stove are not places she wants to explore. Of course, getting squirted with a water bottle and suddenly hearing her human erupt in a loud “No!” gets her attention. And she is a quick learner.

It is just all the other things she can get into that can’t be used as a learning moment until the infraction occurs. One day she discovered the swinging pendulum of the clock on the wall—another squirt with the water bottle and another patient learning moment.

Patience. How very grateful I am that my heavenly Father has patience with me. I haven’t managed to break all the Ten Commandments, but I’m definitely going to be hiding behind Jesus when my judgment time comes around. My Lord’s infinite forbearance at my continued stumbling stubbornness is just another in a long list of reasons for me to be forever thankful to Him.

Has the Lord’s patience been a part of your life? Have you thanked Him for it lately?

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com.)

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Kevin Spencer

Kevin Spencer is a freelance writer and professional editor and is privileged to be a staff writer for Christian Devotions.  He lives in Middle Tennessee with his beautiful wife Charlotte and his 14-year-old wonderful grandson Caleb. A former prodigal son, Kevin has been blessed beyond measure and lives a life far, far better than he deserves.