“Teach us, O Lord, the disciplines of patience, for to wait is often harder than to work.” (Peter Marshall 1902–1949)
Why do we always seem to be in such an all-fired hurry? Why, when we get behind the wheel of a car does our personality change? Why do we drum our fingers impatiently on the wheel at a red light or a traffic hold-up? Why, after wandering around the supermarket filling those unsteerable trolleys with things we can’t really afford, don’t really want and aren’t really good for us, do we then express our irritation because we are not first in line at the check-out? Or because we are behind a lady with so much in her trolley that she must be feeding the cavalry? Or because the person in front wants to pay by credit card or because of the 50 things we have purchased there is a price query on one item?
Why don’t we now have the time? Are the days shorter? Is the hour now only 50 minutes? We need to re-cultivate the art of patience. Don’t jump to conclusions too quickly; many things lie unsolved, and the biggest test of all is that God looks as if He were totally indifferent. Jesus always had time for people and he had patience with them. He cared about people. He didn’t blame the system or the clock – he took the time. Apparently the church of the Thessalonians were having problems of patience. Christians were continually being persecuted by both Jews and Gentiles. Paul had told them that Christ’s return would bring deliverance and that the persecutors would meet their just desserts. So the people expected Christ to return right away. Paul had to point out that whilst waiting for Christ’s return they should learn to be patient and gain faith from their suffering. A great deal is said in the Bible about waiting for God, or on God. We are impatient of God’s delays. We cannot wait for the fruit to ripen, we pick it green. We cannot wait for the answer to our prayers. We are urged to walk with God but at times God walks oh so slowly. It’s indeed fortunate that our God is faithful as well as patient because so many times He has to wait for us.
At any moment in our busy day we can, if we really try, stop to recover sanity and serenity. For without those, patience will be elusive. We can look up to the unfailing source of spiritual power available to us all. In the most hectic hours we can learn to listen to a still small voice of calm.
Have a good week and please be patient, God isn’t finished with us yet.
Optional Bible reading: 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12.
This is one of a series of weekly messages of encouragement, now in its twenty-sixth year, originating from Gympie, Fraser Coast, Queensland, Australia. A companion Bible study page is available each week. To subscribe via email send to firstname.lastname@example.org with the words ‘Subscribe Word (or) Subscribe Word & Study’. Our ministry is free and emailing lists are confidential. Tell a friend or why not put a note in your church newsletter or pew sheet about this ministry – we welcome new subscriptions. Pastor Ron Clarke OAM Word for the Week Mbl.: +61 488 424 321