In our modern age of instant gratification, patience is often forgotten.
Technology, for all of it’s good, does play a big hand in this. Patience is such a gift though, that if exercised purposefully, gives back immeasurably.
It’s hard to truly learn lessons when a lack of patience is present. We have defaulted so much towards convenience that the slightest discomfort that comes from waiting for anything really irritates us. But we absolutely need patience in order to build character. There is no sense of development or accountability when we do not allow for waiting periods of time. When we are impatient, it takes away from the natural process of waiting.
Our “why wait?” mentality has infiltrated just about every aspect of our lives.
But the promise & the purpose that is on your life requires a certain level of patience.
Patience that produces character so that you are prepared to walk in the fullness of your purpose. Sometimes working harder isn’t what you need to aim for, but rather being patient is a better goal. This produces a radical form of fruit in your life.
Patience by its very nature has an amount of time attached to it. We wouldn’t plant a seed in the ground & then just dig it up every day to see if it is growing. We know what the end promise is (a plant, tree, herb, etc), but there is a measure of time that we must wait before it becomes a reality. I’ve found in my own life that sometimes “putting the cart before the horse” or jumping to conclusions causes a lot of unnecessary chaos in life rather than being still, moving at a reasonable pace where you are listening to wisdom, & going with a natural flow.
This saves a lot of having to go back & do things over & keeps from doing things “out of order” in a way. Things get a lot clearer when we are lead by patience rather than a sense of rushing. We enjoy life a lot more too when we learn to be patient!
While we are in a season of waiting or where are patience is being tested, we can still be actively working on our character & drawing close to our Creator. Being patient does not mean just sitting around, growing bored or giving up. There is so much to be done while being patient! I think the quicker we catch on to the rest period of being patient & using that time to deepen our character, the less being patient will feel like a burden.
Being patient always pays off.
Your character needs to be able to sustain where you are going!
One of my favorite psalms highlights the outcome of waiting on the Lord, but we are also let in on the Psalmist's personal struggle.
Psalm 40 says:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
He brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.
I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O Lord, You Yourself know.
I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your loving-kindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your loving-kindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You.
I love the way the Psalmist is just so real about his struggles, but also knows that the Lord is the only one who can strengthen & protect. I love when he reflects how the Lord put a new song in his mouth. Like a refreshed hope after the waiting period.
The faithfulness of God never fails.
So how can we work towards making peace a part of our everyday life & eventually get to the place where it is second nature just to trust & be patient in all areas?
I think a good place to start is to begin to really discover your purpose. What is something that you believe has been placed in your heart since you were young? Whether it’s a specific goal or just exploring what your destiny may be.
One truly incredible part of life is that no matter who we are, we all have a calling on our lives. So amazing! So what are some ways that you can exercise patience in the season that you are in right now, even if it may seem quiet?
We are always in such a constant rush due to how busy our lives can get, but next time you are in line somewhere, waiting for the train or in a waiting room, use this time to become aware of your surroundings & use your observation to lead to gratitude. Gratitude has an interesting way of making the time go back quickly too!
Practice moving at a pace of patience & humility. Think twice before posting certain things on social media, take a few moments to think before you speak, reduce some of the “busy work” in your life if at all possible.
Reflect on a time when you were patient for even a little while & it paid off just a little bit or more than you could imagine.
Patience with an end goal in sight & with the knowledge that it brings character to all areas of our lives can really translate to something pretty exciting.
I encourage you to do a couple of these exercises & then just observe how your attitude & outlook changes over the next week or so.
The thing about patience is that the more you practice it, the more effortless it becomes!