Do you find yourself impatient sometimes? How do you react when things don’t go the way you planned? If you’re like I am, you might mumble and gripe and wiggle in frustration before realizing the futility of your response. Patience is a godly attribute that Bible writers recommend we all use. I’m still learning. How about you?
Eternal Perspectives by Sally Bair
Patience and I don’t get along. Even while still in my mother’s womb, I was in a hurry to see daylight, rushing ahead of my twin sister by 45 minutes. My whole life has been one of hurrying, waiting for the next step of life, or being first, sometimes even at the expense of others’ feelings.
Impulsive by nature, I still, in my much later years, try to rush life as if it were a tornado. I can hardly wait to see where it will blow next, to learn a new thing, to complete my To-do list.
My impatience affects my spiritual life, too. I see pride within myself when I can’t wait for someone to finish speaking so I can have my own say. Or my own way. And though I enjoy reading and studying God’s Word, I find it difficult to quiet myself in order to meditate on it. Perhaps I should recall my farming and gardening days when I knew I couldn’t hurry the growth of the seeds. Jesus’ brother, James, wrote “Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and later rain. You also be patient.” (James 5:7-8)
Part of being patient is being still and quiet or meditating. Many people practice meditation by sitting quietly, clearing the mind, and focusing on a particular word or phrase. Meditating on God and His Word, however, includes a deeper focus. It means to “set your mind on things above, not on the things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) It means to “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my Strength and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14) Some have likened Godly meditation to that of chewing on His Word as a contented cow chews her cud.
I haven’t given up relying on God to each day slow my mind so I can “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him,” as King David advises in Psalm 37:7.
Jesus told His disciples, “Follow Me.” He is our perfect example when it comes to patience. “Now may the God of patience and comfort [Jesus] grant you to be like-minded toward one another …” (Romans 15:5) As we follow His example, we show His patience through our own toward others.
Lord, thank You for Your patience with us. By the power of Your Spirit, fill us with the same patience, especially when it involves interacting with others. Forgive us our sinful desire to want to be first and more important than You or anyone else. Cause us to never forget Your love and patience with us. In Jesus’ name, amen.