“Patience is a virtue”. We have all heard this familiar saying. What does it mean? Well, by definition, virtue means “an admirable quality” or “a characteristic of particular value” The Bible tells us that patience is a fruit of the Spirit. HOWEVER…….sometimes all of this is easier said and read than done and lived. Patience? Really? When the kids are screaming and the dogs are barking? When the boss is blaming me and it’s not my fault? When I have to get an assignment in and I have a house to clean and bills to pay and…..well, the list goes on and on. How about when I am praying for that perfect job and the doors just aren’t opening? How about when I am sick and praying for a healing and I am just as sick as I was yesterday? Or when I am praying so hard for my marriage to be restored and I don’t see any change in my spouse? All of these are things that people I personally know are going through.
There was a man in the Bible named Abraham. Now Abraham and his wife wanted a child. They wanted a child in the worst way. They had been promised a child by God. However, when it didn’t happen in their time, they decided to fix it themselves. So, Abraham got Hagar (his wife’s servant) to bear his child for him. Hagar has a son and begins to treat Sarah like dirt! This child was not the promised child. This child was a result of Abraham’s impatience with God. We are still feeling the consequences of this act today in the middle East specifically.
Patience must be cultivated and grown. We are not in nature patient people. We live in a now society. If I want information, I go online, Google, and PRESTO! I have my information. If I am hungry I go through a drive thru or nuke something in the microwave. But God’s word says “I waited patiently for the Lord. He turned to me and heard my cry”. Wait. Be patient. Know that God is not a man that He should lie. If Abraham would have just waited and believed in God’s promise, he never would have had the mess he did and his wife would not have been hurt the way she was. Poor Hagar and Ishmael would not have been turned away and sent out of their home. When we take things into our own hands, everyone gets hurt.
I know that patience is not easy. I tend to be a very inpatient person actually and have to remind myself continually to slow down, don’t try to fix it, and let God do His thing. Hard? Yup! Does it work when I do this? Yup…you better believe it! “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12. Let me encourage you (and myself) to slow down, read the Word of God, pray, and know that God is not limited by time the way we are. He already knows what He’s doing….just be patient and trust.