WOMEN OF FAITH
Young Brisbane journalist JO HAYES reflects on the virtue of patience and how it plays out day to day in our relationship with God.
WE know that patience is a virtue, but sometimes it feels more like a pain in the behind than anything close to holy or divine.
I’m not referring to the patience required to wait in line at the post office, although I admit that often requires divine grace from above. But rather the gut-wrenching, heart-breaking patience involved in waiting for something the heart desperately desires – a baby, a spouse, a financial breakthrough or physical healing.
This type of patience is hard.
I know it well. I’ve experienced it many times. And I’ve witnessed my family and friends go through it at some stage, to varying degrees. And perhaps we haven’t been displaying patience at all, for patience is of course, not just the ability to wait, but to wait well. And, as mere humans, we don’t really wait well.
We know what we want, and we want it now. And don’t go telling me it’s just us Gen Y’s, because I know many a baby-boomer who struggles with patience.
The scriptures refer to the virtues of “patience’” many times throughout the Bible.
We all know that “love is patient, love is kind”, which sounds so lovely and holy when it’s read out at weddings, but in the rough and tumble of everyday life, it is hard.
A few weeks ago I was babysitting my four-year-old niece, and as a special treat, bought a pack of zooperdooper ice blocks – the kind that comes as liquid and have to be frozen. Well, did we both need grace to get through that afternoon, waiting for the iceblocks to freeze. Without a shadow of a lie, the little cherub asked me when the iceblocks would be ready about 30 times within the next 60 minutes.
Now, there’s only so many ways one can repeat, re-phrase or explain the “not yet frozen” message, without losing patience. There’s that word again. I can’t help thinking that God must feel that way about us when we ask him when our prayer, need, desire or want is going to be answered.
As we know, God is never early, and never late, but always delivers at the exact perfect time.
My experience with my niece reminds me that if only I left my request with God and trusted in his good heart towards me, that I’d be able to avoid frustration and wait for the answer while maintaining my peace, joy and happiness.
So, as we step into this Advent season, waiting for the birth of Christ, let’s remember to wait patiently for God to answer our prayers, in his way and in his time, confident in the promises of Ephesians 3:20, “our God is able to do exceedingly abundantly, above and beyond, all that we could ask, hope, dream or imagine”.
Jo Hayes is a Brisbane journalist.