Posted by: morgan1965 | September 23, 2009

Patience: A Fruit of the Spirit

I reported to the hospital about 6:30 AM on Friday, July 17, 2009, as directed by the medical staff. When I received my hospital bracelet, I became an official patient, exchanging my clothing for a hospital gown. Based on the type of surgery that I was to undergo, it was believed that my stay in the hospital would last three or four days.

After surgery, I spent some time in recovery where my family greeted me and everyone assured me that all was well. From there I went to a room in the Intensive Care Unit. The next day or so, I was taken to a room on the “floor.” The next move would be to go home; instead, I was taken back to the ICU. Surprise! Complications had developed, and I would remain in the hospital for a total of 21 days.

While in the hospital, one is expected to act as a patient, while being treated as a patient. A patient, of course, is one who is receiving medical treatment of some kind. On the other hand, staying in the hospital requires one to be patient. Now, I confess that it takes all the faith and courage that one can muster to be patient under any circumstances. Knowing that I needed to be patient, I prayed to God and asked God to grant me patience, because I wanted to get well and go home.

We know that patience is a fruit of the Spirit: “…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” [Galatians 5:22]. John Wesley often referred to this passage of scripture in his preaching and teaching. Fruits of the Spirit are produced as we invite and allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives. So, a significant part of my prayer life has always been to ask God for patience; but during my hospital stay, I pleaded with God to grant me a deeper portion of patience.

God answered my prayer. God enabled me to endure the long wait and God wrought healing in my body during that wait. A long time favorite passage of scripture is this: “but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” [Isaiah 40:31].

Day by day, God is renewing my strength. I am not running yet, but I am walking a few miles each day. I am still waiting for my “new” wings.

Job was a patient man. He endured much pain and suffering. In the midst of all his trials and tribulations, he waited on God. In God’s time, God acted in his life, doing God’s will.

So too, I believe that God will act and does act in our lives. We need the patience to wait. May it be so!


  1. Thank you Bishop for sharing your story and faith. We are all so thankful for your good recovery and thank God for healing presence that surrounded you these past few months.

  2. I’m not a patient person, either. Thank you for sharing your lessons!

  3. Bishop, I believe that I would fall far below many, many people on the “patience scale.” I appreciate your story and rejoice with you in your recovery!!

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