Drivers in our group acknowledged their impatience when a light turns green, and the person ahead of us doesn’t yet notice! A child asked his mother “Mommy, how come the idiots only seem to come out when Daddy drives?”
We pondered how God is patient with us, not wanting anyone to perish. The illustrations of David waiting upon God’s timing to become king are amazing. No one argued with David’s suggestion that, while Bob Knight did some good things, he was not the most patient man on the planet!
We considered how God healed a number of others with thorns in the flesh, but not Paul. II Cor. 12 includes an amazing passage: God’s power is made perfect in (our) weakness. We don’t have to be ‘strong’ for God to use us. We may often desire success and health so that we may “Give of (Our) Best to the Master”, to give of the strength of our youth. Are we willing to give our weaknesses, our frailties, our Heart Disease, cancer and Parkinson’s as well? The hymn “Just as I Am” is a humbling reminder to us.
What a great God we serve!
We discussed the different ways and times in which we are impatient. We answered the question, “Is there ever a time that it is good to be impatient?”, as no. God teaches us patience as a character builder, the example being the story of David and King Saul as told in 1 Samuel 24. Verse 4 “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'” This can be read as a 2 ways; one as God giving Saul to David to kill as his men interpreted, but also as a test of judgement for David to show wisdom and treat Saul with respect, thus proving his loyalty both to Saul and God. Patience does get easier as we get older and with practice. I’ll share this quote from “Abraham” by F.B. Meyer; “If God told you on the front end how long you would wait to find the fulfillment of your desire or pleasure or dream, you’d lose heart. You’d grow weary in well doin. So would I. But He doesn’t. He just says, ‘Wait. I keep My word. I’m in no hurry. In the process of time I’m developing you to be ready for the promise.”
“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” – and a meeting discussing Patience can provide a thought-provoking peek into that. One interesting question raised was, “Which comes first – anger or frustration?”. We did not arrive at a definitive answer, but generally concluded that Anger raises its head first when there is a lack of knowledge concerning the situation. Frustration, therefore, is most likely to occur first when there is knowledge concerning the problem. Anger is a hotter flame than is Frustration. At the same time, a lack of patience often is exhibited by those with little (or no) knowledge about a situation, while a patient person is more likely to possess knowledge about a situation. For example, there is a long line of stopped traffic. The reason is that the first car in line has a flat tire which is coming off the wheel rim. Those drivers who have access to this information (knowledge) are more likely to exhibit patience than are those drivers further back who see no reason for the delay and begin honking their horns. We also concluded that the amount of patience shown can be greatly influenced by the perception of imminent danger to oneself. A person being accosted by a drunk is likely to be more patient than is a person being accosted by a drunk wielding a large knife. We developed these ideas from the Key Verse: “Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.” (Proverbs 14:29) Patience can temper frustration, while it must replace anger. Faith can be used to immediately ask for patience (and understanding) at any time and for any reason. Likewise, faith can provide a good well-source for patience. Patience seems to be a very slippery slope for all of us as no two people experience any life situation in exactly the same manner. We were all very patient (and gentle) with each other as we wiggled our way through this subject. This discussion itself was a good example of patience, faith and love.
Have you ever tried to “make things happen” because you were tired of waiting on God? In the Be Like Jesus book, Randy Frazee says, “Ironically in our Christian journey, the only way God can teach us patience and help us grow in this virtue is to give us circumstances where we must wait on him. All too often, we get tired of this process and start trying to make things happen.” Many people incur great debt, because they tire of waiting on God’s blessings and decide to take things into their own hands. Some enter into destructive relationships in an attempt to rush into the idea of having a family. We need to slow down, and “tune ourselves” into God’s will for our lives…take the time to understand the direction that God wants us to go, even if that means waiting.