Patience is a word that is often heard in my house these days. “Patience,” I hear my husband say to my 20 month old daughter as she impatiently waits for her snack to be prepared or as she tries to climb into the bath water before we can get her clothes off, “patience,” through a diaper change that in her world seems like an eternity and, “patience” waiting until Mommy or Daddy is home and ready to play with her again. Now, we recognize that toddlers have no sense of time and even less understanding of the concept of waiting. Asking her for patience is like trying to keep a colony of ants out of the honey jar. This can be an exasperating process and one that this is potentially futile in nature, but that doesn’t stop us from giving up.
Patience is a virtue that you often hear people praying for in their own lives. I am left to wonder if this is getting worse in our current fast paced lives. We are definitely a generation of individuals who do not like to wait. Recently, I was in a fast food restaurant that had installed kiosks to speed up the order process so that now you can submit your order without the apparent slowdown that comes from interacting with a human person behind a counter. This to me is ironically sad, that we can no longer wait the extra few minutes to interact with another human being. Our self-absorbed, consumer society has obliterated our need for waiting at all. We now have instant access to news, entertainment, and even public opinion without even having to stop while we stuff that now super-fast food burger down our throats. It is no wonder that in our so called advanced society we no longer seem to have any empathy for others or any understanding of the concept of making time for others, waiting for others or stopping long enough to really care about anyone other than ourselves.
When I think about this concept of patience, I am also reminded of what it must be like for God who has to constantly wait for us to find time for Him in our lives. We need to learn to lean more on God for strength and to be patient with God and his timing in our life. I think so often we pray and then become discouraged if we do not see an instant answer that gives us exactly what we want. The following quote is one I have come to appreciate, “Patience is trusting God to keep his promises in his perfect timing.” I am not sure on the origin of this quote, but for me it is an easy reminder of how my faith needs to be.
After becoming a first time mom after 20 years of marriage I think I know a little bit about patience in waiting upon God. I am confident that what carried my husband and I through those years of waiting was our faith and trust in God. There were days of sadness, days of doubt, yet overall those days were few as we moved forward trusting in God’s perfect plan and timing. Through those years of waiting I can now see God’s work in my heart and life. I am reminded of the verse in James which reads, “Consider it pure joy my brethren whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know the testing of your faith develops perseverance and perseverance must finish it work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.”
My husband and I are now blessed every day and reminded on a daily basis of our God’s faithfulness. We may never understand God’s timing and why our wait was so long, but we are in awe and incredibly amazed how God blessed our patience with immeasurably more than we could ever ask or imagine.