Patience, this is a word I personally find difficult to embrace, unless I need someone to be patient with me and then I realize how very important it is. This little word has caused me a load of grief; that’s probably why when I prayed about what words and themes to focus on this month. God brought patience to mind. Maybe He knew that I need to find His truth and freedom in this word and that you, too, might need to find a little hope when it comes to being patient.
In our society of instant gratification, microwaves, drive through fast food restaurants, Iphones, instant messaging, e-mailing, Fed Ex, and even online shopping, it is no wonder we resist the idea of being patient. We want what we want and we want it now! But if God really wants us to exhibit patience, then maybe we need to dig a little deeper and find out why.
There’s no better place than the Bible to hear what God has to say about patience. My concordance led me to several verses that encouraged me on patience. In Psalm 40: 1, 2, it says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on the rock, and gave me a firm place to stand.” (NIV) Then in Romans 12:12, God says to, “ Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” (NIV) It seems that God is trying to make sure that we know he is working behind the scenes even when life doesn’t look pretty. This gives us HOPE when we are patiently waiting or working through a tough season in life. God is our example of patiently loving us when we deserve it the least with all of our imperfections. In fact, 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (NIV) It’s actually good to be patient because God is our example and he is patiently waiting for everyone to have the opportunity to know him and understand that he is their hope for the future. He is not slow with the things of life, he is just not on our timetable. He hears our prayers, answers more than we can ask, and gives us far more than we can imagine. We just have to patiently wait for his plan to unfold in his time and his way, so be encouraged; patience is a word that we can embrace!