Often, we are praying for things like patience or boldness. Sometimes what we mean is that we want God to remove the circumstances that trigger the need for patience. Or that we want to be so patient we aren’t irritated to begin with, which is kind of impossible.

True love, the love of God, is a choice. We can only practice patience when an irritant is present. We don’t “feel” like being patient, we feel like screaming. We have to choose to be patient. The same thing works for boldness. We think boldness is an absence of nerves and that is what we often pray for. But you have to be scared to be bold. Fear is a necessary component of bravery.

God grants our prayers for patience by putting us in situations that require us to be patient. An irritant. The circumstance is the opportunity to make our choice.

The power to choose love comes from Love Himself. God is love. When we choose to love, we unleash his Spirit to flow through us to others. Only through God’s help and guidance can we make the proper choices. But making the proper choices requires the opportunity to do so. We are actors in a play and we need a scene.

Transcendence is the power to live above our circumstances. We don’t need to avoid them to live fruitful lives; we need to make the most of the opportunities they provide.

Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love.”
– Ephesians 4:1-2