What are you waiting for? Are you having a hard time being patient while your project or expected outcome is taking its time coming to you?
The Dictionary says: Patience is the ability to bear with provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like; or an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
Hmmm … bearing with annoyances without complaint or loss of temper. Can’t I complain a little?
Our world has become one where things should happen instantly. We have lost the art of patience! We have lost the know-how of exhibiting endurance. We pray: ‘Give me patience but give it to me now!’ Even patience requires slowing down, being still and waiting.
Paul writes to the Colossians: “… we are always asking God to fill you with knowledge … so that you may have great endurance and patience.” (Colossians 1:9, 11) Patience comes with understanding. It takes a willingness to let patience work in your life. Patience is a quiet virtue. It is that which grows in us behind closed doors. We know who the impatient people are – those in public who honk their horns, push ahead, and grumble at why a line isn’t moving faster. Patience makes the difference between being vexed or being calm, between anxiety or being quiet. Someone suggested that we’re ready to watch movies about courage but if there were one on patience – we’d probably fall to sleep.
James writes about having patience. “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.” (James 5:7) He uses the image of a farmer who has to have patience to see his crop come up. Sitting and watching the crop doesn’t make it grow – but as the days go by there is a difference. One sees the beginning of the plant. Day by day it continues to grow until we see the forming of grain or the ripening of fruits and vegetables. And then comes the day when patience is rewarded with the harvest.
Recent studies have found that patient people gain in their lives: they are healthier – mentally and physically, they make better friends and neighbours, and they often achieve their goals. Patience is a character trait that all of us need. Here is where prayer comes in – asking God to grant us patience (and not all at once). When the vexing problems come to the fore, use your situation to cultivate patience and forbearance.
“A person’s wisdom yields patience; it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.” Proverbs 19:11