“And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady” —Romans 5:4 (TLB).
Were we more patient before our society became so complicated? What do I mean? For example, before the microwave became a household staple and fast food restaurants graced every corner, weren’t we more content to wait when our meals took an hour or more to prepare? While a watched pot never boils, we lose interest if a frozen meal doesn’t open itself and get nuked in less than five minutes. Can’t we agree that home-cooked meals are definitely worth the wait?
Before computers, cell phones and social media became everyday fare, weren’t we more content to get our news in the daily newspaper and on the five o’clock news? We didn’t have the capability to check a Facebook or Twitter feed to keep up with the running commentary of breaking news.
As we grow in God’s wisdom, patience follows.
Oh, and what about the download speed of our tech gadgets? If the website doesn’t open fast enough or the text message doesn’t arrive in warp-speed time, we stomp our feet and curse the aliens in control of cyberspace.
Recently, I was having problems with my cell phone. I wasn’t receiving texts from a friend. I would anxiously await a reply and when none would come, I would grow impatient. However, I soon discovered the new community to which I had moved didn’t have the best coverage for my cell carrier. I also discovered my phone needed a reboot when I stopped by a cell phone store concerning another problem. After the technician demonstrated the solution, nine text messages arrived. All were from the same friend and covered a two-day span.
Another friend, who broke her ankle in February, is learning a valuable lesson in patience. Each time she has pushed herself during the healing process, she has had a setback. We’ve discussed patience and the importance of God’s timing during this process.
Look up the definition of patience and you’ll find the following: “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”
What is interesting is that the word has the same root as the word “patient,” which means suffering. Impatient people often think they are suffering when they can’t have what they want, now.
Christian theologian and philosopher Augustine once said, “Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
In Proverbs 9:10 (TLB), King Solomon writes, “For the reverence and fear of God are basic to all wisdom. Knowing God results in every other kind of understanding.”
As we grow in God’s wisdom, patience follows. At least it has for me. That doesn’t mean I’m always patient, but as I tell a friend, “I’m a whole lot better than I used to be.”
Businessman and author Arnold Glasow once wrote, “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.”
For me, it’s an ongoing process, teaching me to trust God more each day.