Some months should be accepted as months dedicated to acquiring patience. In northern climes, during March and April we wait—often impatiently. We wait for winter to leave and for the temperature to climb. The sun shines brightly for a few days, then snow flurries come again, as they have today. Our crocuses and snowdrops valiantly try to bloom. This year has tried the patience of most of us.
November and part of December are waiting months too. Waiting for winter, the real winter with snow. Waiting. Whether in the early spring or late fall we are often found waiting for perfect weather. Fortunately, we have the Easter holidays to distract us in the spring and Christmas to look forward to in the late fall. Otherwise, there’s not much to do outside in these shoulder seasons.
However, if we approach these prolonged in-between seasons with the right kind of attitude, we may come out of them with a healthy dose of patience! And without patience and perseverance we’ll spend much of our lives being frustrated. Consider how much we need these qualities: waiting for a bus, driving through traffic, bringing up children, getting through school, finding a job, developing a strong marriage, writing a book, painting a picture, or playing monopoly. We’ll never succeed in completing tedious and detail-oriented tasks without buckets of the stuff. Nor will we live a meaningful life.
No wonder the biblical writers say a lot about this character quality. In the parable of the sower and the soils, “the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop”(Luke 8:15).
Jesus urges believers during the chaos coming near the end of the age; “in patience possess your souls” (Luke 21:19, KJV). This implies that without patience our souls are like unmanageable animals—wild mustangs who know nothing of saddle and bridle.
Both Romans 5 and James 1 affirm that, under the hand of God, suffering and tribulation help us develop the perseverance and patience we need to live victorious and fruitful lives. (See Rom 5:1-5; James 1:2-5). The writer of Hebrews urges us to “run with patience the race that is set before us”(Heb. 12:1).
The Scriptures were written “so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope”(Rom. 15:4). It is interesting to note here that the wisdom and encouragement we acquire from the Scriptures enables us to endure unpleasant circumstances productively. The Scriptures give us the big picture, the long view. Without them we might find both the present and the future dark and foreboding.
Sitting still and lamenting our situation—or the weather—will not create the patience we need to press ahead with life. “We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”(Heb. 6:12). An active lifestyle helps to banish discouragement and depression.
I’ve gone far afield from talking about the uncertainty of April weather. And yet, I contend that there seems to be a relationship between cheerfully accepting whatever weather comes our way, and developing the patience and hope we need to live satisfying and productive lives.