"I waited patiently for the Lord; the Lord turned to me and heard my cry." - Psalm 40:1 (NIV)
Patience. None of us really like it. It often has to be forced upon us while we seethe and simmer. Yet, consider the consequences of living with the lack of it.
Lack of patience while driving can easily earn us a ticket, or even worse, wind us up in an accident.
Lack of patience in a marriage robs the relationship of all its promise and possibility.
Lack of patience in a fight leads us to desperate actions and premature surrenders.
Lack of patience in a career puts us on the fast track to dubious and sometimes illicit achievements.
And impulsive decisions are the ones we usually regret the most.
God orchestrates the delays and the disappointments and the detours of our lives to teach us the value of patience. Waiting on the Lord can be understood as a metaphor for waiting on the processes of time, which are necessary to prove all things.
When I was a child, the older saints in the church would tell me: "It takes time to live holy." And they would tell me: "You can't hurry God, you just have to wait." And they would tell me: "The Lord may not come when you want the Lord to come, but the Lord will be there right on time."
It's taken me a long time to even begin to understand what they were trying to tell me. But the more I welcome patience into my life, the more I see that patience is not really an imposition or a disruption.
Patience is a faithful friend.
Lord, give me the patience to prove all of your promises and to witness the fulfillment of your word. Amen.
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.