Be still. Wait Patiently.
These are two extremely difficult tasks for us to do in a world that demands instant gratification. We have been taught that things can come to us quickly. Technology brings information to us within moments and provides us with instant gratification.
I don’t have to take time to go to the library to get information I need. I don’t have to wait to talk with someone until I find a landline or a pay phone. I don’t have to wait to see my family in a different state. I can talk to them face-to-face even though we are in different states.
I don’t have to wait. I can do all of these things with the phone I have with me at all times.
Things have become quicker and more efficient; but while some things have become easier to achieve, there are still great things in life that require time and patience.
Being impatient can produce negativity. It takes away the joy in our lives.
The great things in life that require my patience are often the plans that God has for me. When I become impatient with God’s timing, my spirit becomes anxious and negativity takes over. It begins to steal my joy.
“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”
2 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
We don’t even see time the way God sees time!
I remember back to the number of times I answered a request from my children with “no” or “maybe later.” The maybe later part is what is interesting to me. As an adult, maybe later could mean tomorrow, and to that child, maybe later means within the next 15 minutes. Let’s not forget the “maybe.” To adults, it’s still up in the air. To children, maybe means yes, because they didn’t hear no.
I think that the verse in 2 Peter is similar. God’s “maybe later” could mean next year, and my later means next week. Let’s not forget about the maybe…since it is something I want, I can’t imagine the answer being no.
I have been very intentional this year as I talk with God about my wants, needs and desires to remember that I am His child. He is my Father, and He knows what is best for me.
Sometimes what is best for me is for Him to answer me with no or maybe later. And like a child, maybe later to me may mean tomorrow and to God it may mean next year! The maybe also could mean that my request will be answered, but not in the way I envision it to be answered.
This is where patience comes in. And we have all heard that patience is a virtue. What does this mean? It means ”the ability to wait for something without frustration is a useful skill and a good aspect of one’s personality.”
As a Christian, it means, “In our challenges and temptation, we must remain undeterred and focused on our service to God. That's where patience comes in. Patience is 'the ability to hold back and persevere through all forms of temptations and trials.'” Having patience without complaining.
I don’t know about you, but I have a little work to do.
Patience is one of the fruits of the spirit, and I have to be connected to God, the vine, in order to be successful. It also requires that I remember the other fruits of the spirit to help me in my quest. Being patient requires my heart to be filled with love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control.
Don’t give up when you fall. Get back up and keep trying. God is right there when you call on Him. It all starts with rejoicing, praying, and giving thanks!
"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus."
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NASB)
Remember, patience is a virtue!