Luke 21:19 – “In your patience possess ye your souls.” KJV
I am fully aware of the context of this passage but want to use it to speak to a particular issue that I have been aware of in my life and in much of the Christian world – IMPATIENCE! We have been trying to live as Christians with a “Microwave Mentality” for way too long. We have been spoiled with the instant everything in our lives. Unlike our parents and grandparents generations where they had more of a Farmer Mentality we have a Magician’s Mentality. We want it yesterday!
My mother and grandmother cooked most things from scratch, as they called it. I well remember when my mother bought an instant cake mix and baked a cake with it rather than from scratch. Then we were introduced to instant potatoes rather than real potatoes that had to be peeled cooked and mashed. Next was instant coffee which didn’t make it in our house because my dad could not tolerate the thought of not having his coffee brewed or boiled. He normally would take a stove top percolator and remove the insides leaving just the pot, put his water in and then pour in the coffee grounds and boil the coffee. That was fine until you got to the bottom of the pot and your cup would be filled with those pesky coffee grounds. He did graduate to the more modern coffee makers such as Mr. Coffee and that was a major step for him.
The farmer knows that the seed he plants today will not be harvested for weeks or months. He has no expectation of waking up the next morning and having corn ready to harvest or any other crop. Today we expect our food and everything else to be virtually instant. We don’t like to wait!
I am probably one of the world’s worst about waiting especially at a restaurant. I don’t like to sit and wait 30 minutes or an hour for a table. I’d rather go somewhere else. I don’t like waiting at the doctor’s office or in the examination room. I want my computer to operate with blazing speed and when I go to the ATM I expect my cash to be instant. Unfortunately that also spills over into our relationships with others and with God.
I am NEVER late, unless it is beyond my control and then I do everything within my power to notify those who are waiting for me. I don’t like waiting for someone who habitually arrives late because I consider it inconsiderate and an expression of the lack of value of my time. I like meetings to begin on time and when I pray I want an immediate answer. God works on me on that part quite a lot.
We need to learn the value of a patient spirit. It will help eliminate frustration and even enhance our health and well-being. Amazingly, with my lack of willingness to wait on many things I love to fish and can sit all day long fishing without getting a bite and be content. I’m patient. I can hunt the same way. So, I realize that it is a mind-set that I can change with regard to other things that I cannot control. I can choose to learn patience and in so doing learn to rest in the confidence that God is in control and I can trust Him.
If you are an impatient person then you need to hear what I’m saying today and as I’ve been told before “chill out.” I know that’s not a term used today and dates me. I remember once when I was single before my wife and I got married I was out on a date and the lady with me slapped my shoulders and said – “Roy, relax.” I had no idea that I was tense but apparently it was so obvious that she did that. God has done the same thing to me on more than one occasion.
So as you go through this day ask the Holy Spirit to help you to be patient. I know that in developing patience you will encounter things that test your patience and you may not like my advice but it is worth it to LEARN PATIENCE!
May the Lord be with you as you go through your day!