By Carol Round – “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience”— Romans 8:25 (ESV).
“God didn’t give me patience.” I laughed when my youngest son shared my 5-year-old granddaughter’s reply to her brother’s admonition to “just be patient.”
Cash, age 14, and his younger sister, Ruby, were washing their dad’s pickup truck. Cash was in possession of the hose. Several times she’d ordered her brother to “give me the hose.” But, like most older siblings who like to be in charge, he hadn’t complied.
When Cash grew tired of her demands, he not only sprayed her with the hose, but he also counseled her on patience. That’s when my headstrong granddaughter stomped her foot, revealing her frustration and her lack of patience.
Our Lack of Patience
Five-year-olds aren’t usually very patient, especially the baby of the family. But what about us?
A virtue often discussed in the Bible, patience is one of the fruits of the spirit listed in Galatians 5:22-23. It’s also an important aspect of our relationship with God and in our relationships with others. We’re reminded in scripture to be patient with those who may be difficult or challenging to love.
The Bible also teaches us that patience is an important aspect of our spiritual growth. If we want to be more like Christ, we must be more patient with others if we want to reflect His love to the world around us. But we often fail. That’s when we need to realize we’re a work in progress.
We’re all a work in progress. I confess, however, that even though I’m now more patient with others, I sometimes lose my cool when it comes to technology.
Recently, I was juggling two remote controls: one for my Smart TV and one for my cable. In addition, I had my password notebook on my lap. The directions to get to YouTube, where I wanted to locate exercise videos for my ailing back, should have been simple.
First, YouTube didn’t recognize my password. Simple fix. Right? I changed my password. Then, I was asked to enter a code from my Smartphone. Didn’t work. After several more failed attempts almost an hour later, I had to suppress the urge to throw the remote controls across the room.
Our Struggle with Impatience
We’re in good company when it comes to impatience. Remember Abraham and Sarah? Although they were a blessed couple, when it came to waiting on God for a promised child, they rushed the process. They didn’t want to wait on God’s timing. Waiting on God isn’t easy. Can you relate?
What about the Israelites? They were chosen by God to be a blessing to other nations but they became impatient with their leader, Moses. While Moses was on Mount Sinai with God, what did they do? They convinced Aaron, the second in charge, to give in to their request to build a golden calf, an idol for them to worship.
While we all exhibit impatience at times in our lives, one thing we can embrace is God’s patience with us. He endures our flaws, does not easily get angry, and refrains from judging us because He wants to see us repent. God even works through us imperfect humans to carry out His plans. Aren’t you thankful He doesn’t give up on us?