Bible Reading of the Day: Read Ephesians 3:20-4:2.

Verse of the Day: “When the Holy Spirit controls our lives, he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).

Dan sat on the creek bank beside his grandmother as the rising sun peeked over the trees. Between them sat a large tackle box. Both of them held a fishing pole. “When are they going to start biting?” Dan asked.

Grandma moved nothing but her lips as she answered. “Soon enough,” she said.

Dan tried to sit still, but it was too hard. He did everything he saw his grandmother do. When she checked her bait, or put fresh bait on her hook, he did the same.

Finally, Dan couldn’t stand it anymore. He found a couple of rocks and propped his rod between them so he didn’t have to hold it. Then he started climbing trees. Before long, he started chasing squirrels and birds, but never caught up to one. Every once in a while, he would come back to his fishing rod to make sure it hadn’t fallen into the water.

Suddenly Dan heard his grandmother laughing. He ran to the creek and arrived just as she reeled in the biggest, most colorful fish he had ever seen. “Look what I caught!” she said.

“No fair!” Dan whined. He looked in the large bucket by her feet and saw two other fish just like the one she had just reeled in. “Why haven’t I caught any?”

Grandma smiled at her companion. She released the hook from the fish’s mouth and slid it into the water-filled bucket with the others. “Fishing takes patience, Danny,” she said. “Like a lot of things in life.”

“I have patience,” Dan said.

“Yes,” she said, “sometimes you do. But I took you fishing with me because . . . well, because I wanted to spend time with you, but also because I’d like to see you learn to be more patient.”

“Why?” Dan asked.

Grandma inhaled deeply. “Because patience is a virtue. That means it’s a good thing, something God wants us to have.” She thought for a moment, then picked up Dan’s fishing rod and reeled in the line. “You see, Danny, patience doesn’t just make you a better fisherman. It will make you a better person.”

“OK, Grandma,” he said. “I’ll be patient, as long as I don’t have to wait too long!” He sneaked a look at Grandma and was pleased to see a look of surprise on her face. “Just kidding, Grandma,” he said.

TO DISCUSS: Have you been impatient with anyone or anything this week? Describe what happened.

TO PRAY: “Lord, patience is a hard virtue to cultivate. Help us not to think about how it grows in our lives. Help us to trust that it will grow.”