Patience is a virtue; it’s just not one of mine.
I’ve always hated to wait. As a little girl, the days and weeks before Christmas tortured me. My fifteenth birthday started the 365-day countdown to the day I received my driver’s license. I merely endured my senior year of college, longing for the day I’d enter the “real world.”
I’m sad to say it continues today.
I hate sitting in traffic. I avoid the bank drive-thru. Standing in line at the grocery store causes me to start my Lamaze breathing.
I don’t like my lack of patience, especially since Galatians 5:22-23 tells me I should be bearing it. It’s just that patience means waiting, and waiting feels unproductive. My Type-A personality likes productivity and efficiency, doing and accomplishing. Yet I go through seasons that don’t seem to be efficient or productive.
Seasons of waiting can feel like a perpetual holding pattern.
Nobody understood waits and holding patterns like the Israelites. Time and time again God spoke to them through His prophets, and the messages had a similar theme: do right while you wait. The words of Hosea also speak to our generation:
Return to your God.
It’s easy and natural to focus on the object of our waiting. We long for the day when change comes:
- the new job is offered,
- the conflict is resolved,
- the manuscript is completed/accepted/published.
Like the church at Ephesus, we persevere and work hard, but we can lose our first love (Rev 2:1-7). As we wait, we make the conscious decision to lift our eyes from our frustrating situation and instead focus on the Lord.
Observe kindness and justice.
Waiting can make us impatient with ourselves, our situation, and with those around us. Instead, turning our focus to God puts us in a better position to corral our frustration and let grace and mercy reign in our demeanors.
Wait for God continually.
While getting that “observe kindness and justice” attitude in place, I’ve found a powerful prayer to breathe:
“Lord, I put my impatience under Your authority right now and
trust You to resolve this in Your perfect timing.
I let go of my frustration and wait for You to replace it with Your grace.”
I confess I rarely feel the instant relief of His presence washing over me, but it reminds me that He is in control. This period of waiting is being directed by Him, and I want to be a good steward during this waiting period.
Whether you’re waiting for God to restore a trying relationship, resolve a difficult job situation, relieve a physical hardship, or open the door for an opportunity that seems to always be just out of reach, this course of action is always right:
Voice your frustration and ask God for His grace in your wait.
Especially when the person ahead of you in the Express Checkout has more than 20 items.