There are a lot of definitions of the word “patience.” It’s easy to see why this complexity exits – it’s a very broad word. For simplicity, I’ll be using the definition propounded by dictionary.com, which defines “patience” as,”an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.”
It is very interesting to note that the above definition admits to the existence of delay. It is true that life does not bring everything at the time we would have wanted. Some things come when we are ready to give up on waiting. But patience is the ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
Patience: An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay.
It is very sad that our generation looks like it has lost the ability to be confronted by delay. Unfortunately, the world is not helping us cope with delay. With technology (not to place the blame entirely on it), everything seems to be available at the click of a finger. In Africa, before technology came, lovers used to write each other love letters. The letters would take months before they were delivered. But now, people can communicate across the world in a matter of seconds!
There are fast food outlets everywhere. There are instant noodles, instant photos, and all kinds of other instant things. Since everything we want can be achieved in an instant, our generation appears to have lost the importance of being patient. But what does God say about patience?
In Isaiah 40:31 God says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not to be weary and they shall work and not faint.” Isn’t it interesting that even God admits there are times where we must wait? The Lord is promising to renew those who are willing to wait strength, not to cut the journey short for them. The bible is awash with examples of people who waited upon the Lord and the Lord honoured His promises to them. Who can forget how Abraham had to wait for the promise for a son to come? David, who was anointed to be King when he was around 15, had to wait to rule until he was 30.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. - Isaiah:31
Many of the problems our generation finds itself in are caused by the unwillingness to wait upon God’s promises. Everyone wants quick success. Everyone wants to be rich, married to a wonderful person, get a good paying job and live in a big house in a few years. No one is willing to wait for the right time. I am convinced that God put Adam in the Garden of Eden (He could have been put somewhere else) because he wanted to teach humanity to master the art of being patient. In the garden you don’t plant a tree today and harvest tomorrow. You have to be patient!
Question of the week: When you made a rushed decision with serious consequences? What can you do to improve your ability to wait for the Lord?