By Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC
We spend so much of our time waiting for something or
someone. We wait in traffic and in checkout lanes. We wait for
a phone call, for the mail or for someone to do something for
us. We wait in anticipation of some good news or a problem.
We wait until that day when we meet our soul mate, graduate from school, find the perfect job, purchase the home we have always wanted, go on vacation, become parents and the list goes on.
Waiting is not very enjoyable in a fast moving society where things are made more and more convenient for us to get what we want now. So when we can not speed up the process or make time go by any faster, we can be very impatient. Impatience behind the steering wheel of a car can become dangerous. Impatience with people can cause us to behave rudely and disrespectfully. Impatience in meeting the right mate can lead people to make poor choices that affect their entire future. No matter how you look at it, a lack of patience is not a good thing.
Patience truly is a virtue. It is the quality in people that keeps them calm and at ease. It enables them to endure discomfort, setbacks, and delays without becoming pushy, demanding or unkind to others. They are physically relaxed rather than tense and anxious. They do not make decisions impulsively but think them through and wait to do what is best. They do not give up when things take longer than expected. They persevere believing it's worth the wait. They are also understanding of others when others' points of view conflict with their own.
Patience is not for only a select few. It is something we can all have. When you hear someone saying that they have no patience, what they are really saying is that they do not practice it. We have so many opportunities to practice patience. We can begin by asking ourselves, "Am I being understanding and tolerant with the people in my life? Do I manage my time well or am I often in a hurry and expect others to cooperate? Are my insecurities keeping me from waiting for the best God has for me?"
If there is an area in your life in which you find it especially difficult to be patient, you can ask the Lord to help you develop the faith you need for patience to replace impatience. As children of God we develop our faith and patience as we wait on the Lord. We wait on Him to answer our prayers. We wait on Him to act on our behalf. And as we wait on Him we will learn that He is never in a hurry. Yet, His timing is always perfect. As we wait on Him we develop greater trust in His faithfulness. Our faith will increase as well as our becoming more and more patient with ourselves and others. Our need for immediate gratification will decrease and we will discover that it is worth waiting for all the Lord has for us. And we can do it with patience because we can trust Him. You can begin practicing patience right now! What are you waiting for?