“I’m just not a patient person,” I told a friend recently.
“Why do you think that is?” was her question.
I thought for a second and responded, “Neither of my parents was very patient. I didn’t inherit that trait.” (I kind of sounded like Adam blaming Eve for taking a bite of the apple.) And although that’s somewhat true, I do have siblings who are much more patient than I am. I was married to a very patient man, thankfully. I know I drove him crazy at times with my impatience. I just want everything to happen in my timeframe. That mindset has gotten me in trouble more than once.
When I started reading the Bible in my mid-20s my favorite chapter was 1 Corinthian’s 13, God’s description of what love looks like. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says love is patient (some translations say long-suffering) and kind.
It’s interesting to me that the first quality mentioned is patience or long-suffering. If I desire to be more loving, and I do, it sounds like the place to start is with patience and hopefully, kindness will follow (1 Corinthians 13: 4-13). This chapter has always been a wake-up call for me, challenging me to see if my love looks like this. (I would encourage you to take a few minutes and read through this chapter now.)
A couple of years ago at a women’s retreat, the speaker ended her talk by handing us a picture of a clock on a piece of paper and asking us to put an X through the clock. The point was to not put a sovereign God on our timetable. Of course, it spoke to me because that’s what I’d been doing. I needed answers and I needed them now. I needed answers about my dramatically changed future, what would it look like, how was I going to get through it.
I confess I’m still waiting for answers and direction in some areas, but God’s Spirit has been showing me things as I wait upon him. What are you patiently or not so patiently waiting on God to answer and show you? Perhaps the question is: should I get married? Who should I marry? Should I stay single? Will my marriage get any better? Will my children turn out OK? Should I get a different job? Should I move? Will I ever feel healthy again? How does one age gracefully? Will my broken heart ever heal?
God’s Word tells us in Psalm 27:14 to, “Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage and he shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord” (NKJV). Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint” (NKJV).
I don’t know about you, but I need to learn how to patiently wait for the Lord’s time. Feel free to join me as we learn this together!