Patience, a Virtue
Perhaps you are familiar with the prayer “Lord, give me patience. Right now.” Recently when I complained about having to wait so long to hear whether or not a book was accepted by a publisher,* a friend commented, “All in God’s good time.” God’s time is really different from ours! We Americans like things fast: fast meals, express lanes, instant coffee, express mail. We find it irritating to wait in line, be put on hold, and be stuck behind a car only going the speed limit. We like to squeeze as much as we can into our hours, but in the end we might only be as productive as the gerbil spinning on the wheel in his cage. On the other hand, Scripture says about God that a thousand years are as a day to him. (Psalm 90:4) While we have all the time in the world to do things, God has all eternity and takes his time—with marvelous results.
Abraham’s promised descendant through whom all nations would be blessed didn’t arrive for some two thousand years. The Israelites’ journey to the Promised Land dragged out to forty years. Jesus’s promise to return to earth still hasn’t occurred two thousand years later, although some of the early Christians stopped working because they expected him any day. A Christian letter advises, “Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it” and “As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets” (James 5:7, 10). The letter mentions Job, who after patiently enduring one calamity after another is rewarded with a better life than the one he lost. So we musn’t give up if God doesn’t answer our prayers immediately and it seems as though we’ve been waiting forever and a day for a turn in our fortune.
Wonderful things take time. We see this in nature. The spectacular Grand Canyon was carved out of earth over millions of years. The beautiful diamonds and redwood forests we enjoy today began eons ago before we were born. We know that we should live at a slower pace, as it’s said, “Take time to smell the roses.” There is also the adage, “Good things come to all those who wait.” So hurry up and apply this wisdom to your life!
*I just received word this afternoon (July 3) that the publisher accepted this book. Yay!
“…we musn’t give up…” –I was in need of this encouragement right now. Thank you, Sr. Kathleen. Hurry, I must, to trust that the Lord is taking care (: !
I have a difficult time being patient about some things. Some things cause me to suffer, and I have to wonder what the suffering is trying to teach me. I wish I could learn the lessons an easier way! 🙂