Updated: May 8, 2020
Social distancing has really been putting a damper on my weekly Chick-fil-a visits. Is anyone with me? This week, I ordered a delicious chicken dinner to be delivered to my house. I was starving and looking forward to eating something other than a home cooked meal.
One hour passed, and there was no delivery. Two hours, and still nothing. Finally, three hours passed. I was HANGRY. I called to let them know my frustration and the worst case scenario had occurred. They ran out of chicken and needed to cancel my order. I was beyond irritated and immediately wanted to tell them my thoughts on a Yelp review.
Looking back, I’m grateful that I kept my thoughts to myself.
In the moment, it was easier to claim my right to be impatient when I was waiting for hours on end for food that never came.
The battle we are all fighting each day is similar. How often do we respond to our situations with patience? Impatience is easier—it’s what we’re prone to. Without actively thinking about it and asking God for help, we won’t be patient people.
We are all experiencing some uncharted territory. Our plans for the coming months are changing. Classes are completely online. Vacation is postponed. Sporting events are cancelled. We’re stuck at home, and I’m sure many of you are so over living with your parents again.
Are you annoyed and on the verge of imploding?
Have you wondered how you can regain your composure?
It’s difficult to find motivation for patience in the midst of change, uncertainty, and frustration. Imagine how peaceful your life would look if you could accept your circumstances without getting angry or upset. Here are three benefits of practicing patience that can help you find motivation:
GOD IS PATIENT WITH US
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
Each one of us are sinful and imperfect people and God still desires to be in relationship with us. This is the beauty of the gospel: God sent his perfect son to die for our sin so that whoever believes in him can have eternal life. He waits for us to choose him—what patience this requires!
GOD CALLS US TO BE PATIENT LIKE HIM
“Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6
Jesus was characterized by great patience. He was betrayed, mocked, and scorned by people, yet he still asked God to forgive them. How would you respond if you were treated like this by the people around you? Would you be angry and want revenge? Would you want to isolate yourself? In order to live as Jesus did, we should be compelled to choose patience in the midst of delay, trouble, or suffering.
GOD HAS GIVEN US EVERYTHING WE NEED TO BE PATIENT
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3
God didn’t say, “Be patient—good luck figuring that out.”
He has given us tools to help us grow in our character. The Bible, prayer, and scripture memory being just a few. When we are struggling to be patient, we can use these tools to help us. The best way to utilize these tools would be to spend daily time reading the Bible, praying to God, and memorizing verses about patience. We can also lean on our friends to hold us accountable in these areas. We truly have everything we need!
This week, I encourage you to listen to the StuMo Online podcast titled “Perfecting Patience,” and maybe even meditate on or memorize one of these verses about patience!
In an impatient world, it IS possible to choose patience. Figure out what is frustrating you the most and talk to God about it in prayer. Ask him to give you patience with your family, friends, and circumstances. Imagine how different your relationships and experiences could look! Your time at home could be marked by understanding and kindness, rather than irritability. You could experience the peace and joy that patience provides.
Discuss these questions with a friend or spiritual leader to help apply today's reading:
What are some examples of how God has been patient with you in your life? Be specific.
What situations make you the most impatient and how can you combat feeling that way?
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