Patience is considered a virtue, but for many of us, waiting is not easy. We often find ourselves waiting in the check-out lane at a grocery store, waiting in line at a bank, waiting to be seated at a restaurant, standing in line at sporting events, conferences, theaters, and concerts, to name just a few.
Most often, waiting can lead to frustration, especially if it takes more than a few minutes of our time, Children, due to their short attention span, often lose their patience in certain situations and will cry or have a temper tantrum (mothers can certainly identify with this) because they don’t know why they have to wait for things.
When my husband and I lived in Georgia, we would travel to our home State of PA to visit family members during the holidays. Our daughter was under five at the time. In order to keep her occupied, we brought along toys, puzzles, coloring books, and played car games as well as bringing along all the luggage and snacks. Within an hour or so of leaving our home, she began asking, “Are we there yet?” We would try to explain that the trip would take us about 14 hours; however, she had no concept of time and she would become frustrated, begin crying, and continue asking, “Are we there yet?” Believe me, we stopped many times to get gas/food during the trip in order to break up the long hours of being in a car.
As Christians we can also become impatient to receive answers to our prayers. However, we need to be reminded that God has already heard us and that He has everything under control and will answer us in His timing.
There are a number of scriptures throughout the Old and New Testaments that teach us lessons on learning about patience (perseverance). I have listed just a few for you to read and ponder. All of them are taken from the NIV.
Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
II Peter 1:5: “For this very reason make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge self-control; and to self-control, perseverance…”
Revelation 2:2-3: “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance….You have persevered and have endured hardships in my name, and have not grown weary.”
Colossians 1:11-12: “…bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…”
Proverbs 15:18: “A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel.”
James 5:7-11: “Be patient, then, brothers, until the Lord’s coming…Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
James 1:2-3: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
I Corinthians 13:4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Hebrews 6:15: “And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.”
Galatians 5:22-23: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Isaiah 40:31 clearly gives us valuable insight into the result and benefit of our being patient (persevering) by waiting on the Lord. Let this be our guide when we find ourselves in situations that test our patience.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength,
They will mount up (soar on) wings like eagles;
They will run, and not be weary;
They will walk, and not be faint.”
Teach us Lord, teach us Lord to wait.
Blessings on you,