In our apartment we use the elevator often. When Mary Helen enters, she punches the button for our floor and waits patiently for the door to close and the elevator to ascend. Not me, when I enter, I punch the button for our floor and immediately the close-door button. I can’t wait a second or two for the door to close by itself.
I’m impatient. Not a good quality. Life goes better with patience. In fact, everything goes better when garnished with patience.
We live in a very impatient age; in politics, in relationships, in fast-food gratification, in driving, and certainly in our faith.
Patience is an essential quality in those who raise children. Our granddaughter has been waiting a hour for a doctor to see her sick child. We know from experience she will have to show patience again and again over the years to see her son become a fine young man.
It takes a lot of patience to grow flowers and vegetables. Cultivation, fertilizing, planting, weeding, watering—all come months before the harvest.
Preparing a tasty curry requires patience. Since I enjoy the end result I’m forced to be patient—or buy a take-out.
It certainly takes patience to prepare a sermon or Bible lesson. Hours and hours
. Alternately, I can get up on a platform and wing it…and leave my hearers wondering what all that was about. As I’ve learned, it also takes enormous patience and perseverance to write a book.
Learning to be patient is a steep learning curve to which, so far, I see no end.
Christian character is seriously flawed in anyone without patience. We naturally want to be blessed now, quickly. But, “for you have need of patience that after having done the will of God you might receive the promise”(Heb. 10:26). Becoming loving doesn’t just happen, and yet, “love is patient” (1 Cor. 13:4). Establishing a good marriage or a strong friendship doesn’t happen in a week or a month. We need to, ”be patient with everyone” ( 1Thess. 5:14) —our life-partner, friends, other drivers, colleagues at work, children, and yes, grumpy seniors.
Becoming a mature, Christ-centred Christian takes years. There’s no magic formula. It requires patient application of the means of grace; daily devotions which include Bible study and prayer, fellowship with other Christians in church and outside of church. We need time to learn about forgiveness, what real worship is all about, how to endure pain and sickness redemptively. We may not like it but, “the trying of your faith worketh patience” (James 1:3, KJV).
God is not in a hurry. As the sovereign Lord of the universe, He knows how and when all things mesh together for our good and his glory. Those who know God echo David who said, “I waited patiently for the Lord,” even when he was in a slimy pit. (See Psalm 40:1.) Ah, yes, that’s why we should trust Romans 8:28 even when we’re in a serious jam. “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Lord, please help me to be more patient!
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