I have heard that patience is a virtue. This is probably one more example of the fact that I am not necessarily a virtuous person. I am certain that I am not usually patient. I have been known to pace, tap my foot, roll my eyes, and do just about every active thing I can do when I have been forced to “wait patiently.”
Enter a scripture where God meets me as I am, and yet loves me too much to leave me there.
Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. You also must be patient. Strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. Beloved, do not grumble against one another, so that you may not be judged. See, the Judge is standing at the doors! As an example of suffering and patience, beloved, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. Indeed we call blessed those who showed endurance. You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful. James 5:7-11
What are God’s examples of patience? A farmer and Job.
I have watched more than a few farmers over my years, and a while they must be patient in waiting for the rain, being patient doesn’t mean that a farmer just sits and twiddles his or her thumbs.
I have read Job over my years, and after Job sat silently on the ground for seven days and seven nights in the midst of his grief and suffering, he then debated quite extensively with his three friends and God.
“Be patient,” we are told. “We need to remember that the Lord is near.” And we are told “not to grumble against one another”. Maybe I’ve never been that good at patience because I have also never been that good at keeping my mouth from moving (and hence the grumbling.) Maybe I need to try to sit and listen, patiently waiting to see the compassionate and merciful purpose of the Lord.
I’ll try it – maybe today – for a while. (Remember, God, I’m still a work in progress.)
Dear God, help me to learn how to sit, pray, trust, and listen for Your leading in my life. Give me the patience to see and hear Your plan. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.