Life Needs Patience

The flyers we get in the mail these days are full of barbeques, patio chairs, lawn fertilizer, and garden equipment. Yet, the snow keeps turning up, the wind howls, and warm temperatures are elusive. A waitress who serves tables in front of large windows said, “I hate the snow and I can’t stand looking at it any longer!” In our part of the world, it’s hard to be patient in April.

Much of life demands patience. The human body takes time to heal. Loans take time to pay off. Children take time to grow. Careers take time to flourish. Good food takes time to cook. Even a cup of tea takes time to steep. It’s easy to be impatient with all of it. We’re busy people and we want everything to hurry up!

Christians are charged by God to develop patience. Jesus said we must “bear fruit with patience” (Lk.8:15). Paul said we must be “patient in tribulation” (Rom.12:12). James explained, “Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord” (Jas.5:7). The tired Galatians were told, “in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary” (Gal.6:9). The compromising Hebrews were told, “you have need of patience” (Heb.10:36). Prayers were offered up for the beleaguered Colossians, that they would be strengthened “unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness” (Col.1:11). In our relationships with people we are to “be patient toward all men” (1 Thess.5:14).

When we fail to be patient, the good things God is working in us are destroyed, great results are cancelled, and those who live with you are hurt.

But what great models of patience have gone before us! Noah was patient for a full year in the ark, and he saved the human race. Job was patient in his illness and losses; he was not only blessed abundantly at the end of it, he also taught all future generations about wisdom in suffering. Simeon headed for the temple every day for a long time, hoping to see the infant Messiah; that day came. Paul was patient in his hardships and inspired millions. What are you dealing with in your own life? Will you be patient?

You’ve just read 376 words. You’ve been patient.

– Tim Johnson