“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in His Word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5
There is an old children’s song that says:
“Have patience, have patience. Don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient, you only start to worry. Remember, remember that God is patient, too. And think of all the times when others have to wait for you.”
It is no coincidence that we begin teaching children about patience in the early preschool years, is it? Patience is arguably one of the hardest character traits to develop. It is not, however, hard to learn. Impatience comes naturally. From the crib, while still in diapers and unable to speak, babies give in to the natural urge to be impatient. Once a human being is old enough to know what he/she wants, impatience soon follows. Not only do we know what we want, we know when and how we want it.
Most of us spend much of our day being impatient. “Go!” we say to the driver in front of us. “Could you be any slower?” we silently wonder about the cashier in the store. “Are they growing my food?” we think as we sit in a restaurant or drive-through line. It’s almost automatic. It often happens without us even realizing it. Impatience affects every part of our lives and can ruin the relationships we cherish the most. So what do we do about it? Where do we even start?
If you begin to think intentionally about being patient, it can be overwhelming. This is because patience is not something we can do by our own will – it is a fruit of God’s Spirit living in and through us. I believe the first step to this work of God is to focus on Him. Often times our inclination is to focus on the behavior we want to change or the situations in which the unwanted behavior occurs. But behavior is a symptom of a deeper issue…a heart issue.
The psalmist says that he waits for the LORD with his whole being. His hope is in God’s Word. If we cannot even be patient and wait on God who is perfect in every way, how can we expect to be patient with imperfect people? Are you patient with God? Do you trust Him completely? Is your hope in His Word?
Father, please forgive me for being impatient with You, Lord. Teach me how to wait for You instead of worrying. In Jesus’ name, amen.