There are those who never pray for it because they know God will put them in situations to test it.
Then, there’s the prayer, “Lord, please give me patience. But don’t give me strength because if you do, I’ll need bail money too.”
Patience is one of those things we all know to be virtuous.
We admire the quality and we want people to be patient with us, but we don’t like to be patient with others.
While the definition of patience is accepting a delay or waiting without getting upset, patience is also something that is rooted in trust.
Philippians 4:6 says, “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Do not be anxious in anything is a tall order, friends!
We have a lot to be anxious about!
Are our jobs secure?
Is this gaping hole in the roof a problem?
Have I totally messed up my kids?
But anxiety doesn’t answer any of these questions.
It simply fuels the problem and it grows out of control.
It’s the emotional equivalent to the 1984 movie, “The Gremlins.”
Anxiety is to the problem what water is to the gremlins.
This verse tells us to give it to God, pray about it, and then trust Him to work things out.
But since we know God’s timing isn’t like ours, we’re full circle back to patience.
Proverbs 15:18 says, “A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention.”
I know, I know.
I’m jumping all over the place.
What does an angry man have to do with patience?
Because patience is rooted in trust as we’ve already discussed, but is also anchored by self-control.
When you lose patience, anger is often not far behind.
Sure, in some situations, you may be able to simply walk away, but not always.
We have to exercise self-control in order to be patient.
And in our fast-food society, we all want it fast and we all want it now.
How many times have you looked at the 30 seconds on the microwave and it feels like 30 minutes??
Are you all but holding back from shaking the machine to try to speed up the 30 seconds that stand between you and your Hot Pocket??
Admit it – because we’ve all been there!
That feeling of irrational rage because we don’t want to wait!
And yes – even rage against an appliance!
There’s also something else to bear in mind… 2 Peter 3:9 says, “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
When it comes to patience – we have to trust in God and His timing.
He is patient with us, and therefore, we should extend that kind of patience to others.
When we remember that no one is perfect, yet God loved us enough to send a Redeemer, then taking a deep breath and continuing to wait isn’t quite that hard.
Today, as you pray, thank God for being patient with you, and modeling what patience looks like.
Ask Him to help you remember His patience when you are in positions to be patient with others.
And don’t be afraid to pray for patience.