I homeschooled our daughters, and I teach college-level developmental courses (that’s remedial reading and English for those who don’t know the lingo). People remark, “Oh, you must have so much patience!” Nope. Anyone who has known me longer than ten minutes would know that patience is a virtue I lack.
I must admit, I am tired of listening to songs and editing. I know that editing makes things better, but it’s slow, and I want to be done. I want to be finished with listening and move on to the fun part—sharing—but hurrying the process will lead to regret later (not to mention lost sales).
The Bible is replete with examples of those who lacked patience. Sarah, longing for the fulfillment of God’s promise of a son, introduced a third person into her marriage and altered the course of history (Gen. 16). King Saul, impatient because Samuel was late, offered a burnt offering himself and forfeited his kingdom (1 Sam. 13). Peter, always the impatient one, wanted to build shelters to worship Moses, Elijah, and Jesus, rather than waiting for God’s plan of salvation to be completed (Luke 9:28-36).
Peter later reminds us that patience is one of God’s qualities. “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9, ESV). I’m sure that since he loves us, God wants us to be with him right now, but he waits to give as many of us as possible a chance to repent and renew our relationship with Him. If we wish to be like God, we develop patience.
The Apostle John, at the end of his life, knew that patience was not easy. In fact, the English Standard Version of the Bible translates John’s words as “patient endurance” four times in the book of Revelation. When we are patient, we are waiting, putting up with circumstances until Better comes along.
It’s time for me—and all of you—to remember Solomon’s advice in Ecclesiastes 7:8: “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride” (ESV).