Think back to your childhood for a moment. Can you recall a time where either parent said “I’ve had it up to here with you!”, making a motion with their hand over there head to show their patience was running out VERY fast and you were treading on very thin ice, or when a parent used that tone of voice. We all know the one. It was reserved for when we had pushed their patience a tad too far.
I feel patience can be a hard thing to manage in the ‘microwave world’ we live in. We are more than happy to wait the two minutes it takes for our food to reheat in the microwave, but once that timer is up, are we really going to wait to let it cool down before we dig in?
We’re not used to waiting. The world is at our fingertips like never before, no waiting required, and we’re able to access pretty much any thing we want – any time – from the comfort of our own home. Sadly we’re conditioned to rush the things that are worth waiting for, left wondering why things don’t seem to work out as planned.
There are very good reasons God wants us to be patient. You can’t hurry or speed up His plans because doesn’t work within your time frame. Be confident that if you wait (while that is frustrating), things will – or will not – happen in His perfect timing. It’s our job to sit back, show patience, and figure out what it is that He is wanting us to learn.
Why does God want us to wait for certain things, and what are the benefits of showing patience?
- Being patient builds our character and helps us to become more Christ-like. As we depend on Him and not on our emotions. I spoke about this is another post about fruits of the spirit – one of which is patience (Click here to read)
- Being patient proves your motivation and commitment. Those who are not prepared to wait on God’s timing but give up when it exceeds theirs, may end up missing out on something amazing.
- Being patient shifts our focus off ourselves and onto Jesus. Possibly the main benefit we can take away as believers when we wait for something is that it helps us to have a hope that we are never alone in our waiting periods, no matter how long hard or dark they may be.
- It builds perseverance and anticipation. How much sweeter is it when you have saved for something you’ve really wanted, and the day finally arrives where you can pick it up. How much less excited would you be if you just took what you wanted when you wanted it. I don’t think your excitement would be as great.
Here are some of my other thoughts on patience
- Take time to rest. With todays world being so fast paced it’s so vital that we take time out. We need to rest and refresh our brains sometimes. Make sure that it’s something that you do as often as you can.
- Thank God. Have you ever seen those people who just whine – like that high pitched whine? Sometimes we don’t realise that we do the same thing with God. We complain about: all we don’t have, why is it taking so long, why can’t I just have it NOW?. We have to find a way to change this if we ever want to have a chance at becoming patient people. A thankful and grateful heart is much easier to work with than one that is bitter, angry and ungrateful. Start saying thanks for what you do have.
Are there certain people, places or environments that seem to provoke an impatient attitude in you? Identify these and begin to make a choice to exhibit a new attitude. Being patient doesn’t mean you are being a pushover, it’s simply showing love and kindness to others in an unfair situation.
Have you ever considered that people who really annoy you at work (or those telemarketers that ALWAYS ring at dinner time), or that one friend who is consistently late, could be in your life for a reason?
God could be allowing these situations to occur in order to grow patience in your character. We can’t keep reacting the same every time we are faced with a situation that is less than ideal, and expect a different outcome. How will you respond this week? With anger, annoyance, and an impatient attitude, or is it perhaps time to try something new?
Be still, and know that I am God; Psalm 46:10