“Patience is a virtue.” I remember my mother saying that to me quite often when I was younger – and honestly, it really used to annoy me. I guess you could say that the phrase that was supposed to reinforce the importance of patience instead made me impatient! But isn’t that the case with most of us? I don’t know many people who have mastered the art of patience. My dad likes to use the old King James word for patience: long-suffering. He says that for him, having patience means that Long suffers. He has told this joke enough that all the rest of the Longs have gotten impatient with it – and so the vicious cycle turns!
This past month, I watched as a friend of mine carefully allowed her three-year-old daughter to “help” her make brownies. My friend’s daughter was super-excited about these brownies – to watch her, you’d think that brownies were just about the best thing in the world! They added the brownie mix, the oil, the eggs, the water, and then stirred all of those ingredients together to make that wonderful, delicious-looking batter. But then, of course, the batter had to be poured into a pan and put in the oven for 25 minutes . . . and that was a situation entirely unacceptable to the three-year-old. She wanted the brownies now. She wanted to gorge herself on the batter – after all, she had helped to mix it, and in her mind, she deserved to enjoy the fruits of her labors right away. Her mother tried to explain to her that, if she were just patient for a little while, the brownies would be baked, and she would enjoy them so much more than mere batter, but this little girl was having none of it. What followed was a series of loud, intense protests as she angrily stared at the oven door and stomped her feet until she was forcibly removed from the kitchen.
As I watched all of this, a message flashed into my brain from the Lord: that’s you sometimes. Ouch! And yet, what a perfect image for the way we must all look to God when we get impatient. When God tells us “No”, or when God tells us “Wait – I have something better for you”, we clench our fists, stomp our feet, and wail. We scream how God is unfair, how God is mean, how if God really loved us, He’d allow us to have X, Y, and Z”. C.S. Lewis once famously likened us to little children who insist on making mud pies in a slum when God has offered us a lovely holiday by the sea – an image I have always loved. We may think we are adults, but when we don’t get our way, when God tells us to put down our mud pies because He has something better for us, we can be very much like angry toddlers – and yet, if only we would wait, if only we would be patient and trust that God truly does have our best interests at heart, we could receive that holiday by the sea, or that delicious pan of fresh-baked brownies. Patience is a virtue!
But like all virtues, patience must be developed. Patience doesn’t just happen. God doesn’t just download patience into our brains (although, I sometimes wish that He did!). Instead, patience is something we learn – usually in the midst of a stressful, difficult time. When faced with such times, we have a choice: to endure, trusting that God will be with us, or to flip out, lose our cool, and melt down like that toddler whose way has been crossed. The first way is always hard, but leads to a much better life; the second way is incredibly easy, and yet makes our lives – and the lives of pretty much everyone around us – miserable. With God’s help, we can choose the better way; we can choose to be patient, and to trust Him. We may think it’s impossible to do this, that we are hard-wired for impatience, that there is no way to teach old dogs new tricks, but these are all lies. With God, all things really are possible! (Matthew 19:26) With God, we can learn to be patient!
So, which way will you choose this month? Patience is a virtue! Showbox APK Will you be a virtuous person the next time things don’t go your way? Will you trust and obey God? The choice is yours – choose well! For remember, God loves us enough, that if we don’t learn the lesson now, we will get another opportunity later! So let’s be virtuous; let’s be patient and trust in Him!
To Him alone be the glory!
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