We live in a fast-paced, everything-done-now culture - microwaves, wi-fi, high-speed internet, and overnight mail.

If we have to wait for a picture to download, we get antsy and frustrated. If a recipe takes longer than fifteen minutes to prepare, we opt to heat up a frozen meal. Not many people take the time to do needlework; it takes too long.

Patience is one of the characteristics of the Christian life. Patience is a steadfast endurance in the midst of a trial, whether is physical or mental trouble.

A child's world consists mostly of themselves. They expect everything to revolve around them and to have what they want RIGHT NOW. As a child matures, he should learn to think of others and develop patience.

Do you remember this song about Herbert the Snail?

Have patience, have patience
Don't be in such a hurry
When you get impatient, you only start to worry
Remember, remember that God is patient, too
And think of all the times
when others have to wait for you.
(Agapeland Songs)

Patience isn't learned in easy times. We need adversity to strengthen us. We don't like difficult times, but we should be grateful that God is working in our lives. He wants us to grow. He wants us to be strong. Muscles aren't strengthened without hard exercise.

You can't run a marathon like the 100 yd. dash. It takes time; it takes training; it takes patience. Life is a marathon. It takes patience, too.

Can you hear our Saviour cheering you along the way?

"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us..." (Hebrews 12:1, KJV)


Joanne Sher said...

ANOTHER song I've never heard of ;). But so true. Great reminder, Vonnie.

Jonathan Beverly said...

Nice post, Yvonne. I do, however, have a quibble with your definition of patience: "Patience is a steadfast endurance in the midst of a trial, whether is physical or mental trouble."

In my understanding, that is perseverance, which is different. Patience is the ability to wait, to adjust your time to someone else’s schedule without annoyance or complaint.

As such, it is unrelated to trials, but is about caring and empathy (as you indicate with the child learning to think of others).

I think that patience, in this meaning, is one of the primary characteristics of love — because having your time interrupted and controlled by another is the greatest gift you can give, since time is the one commodity we cannot add to in our lives. When you give a day to another, patiently doing what they wish to do at their pace, you have given that day (or an hour, or a minute). You will never get it back, you can’t make more.

As related to running, a marathon does take patience, not primarily because of the need to persevere during hard training, but because you can’t decide to do one tomorrow, or next week, or next month, or even 6 months from now if you’re starting from zero (although many try, and get hurt). You have to train patiently for years to get your body up to the volume necessary to run a marathon. Running is great for teaching patience because you have to let the body build itself, with slow increases in difficulty and recovery between each session and each increase. Most people fail at running not because they can’t take the hard work but because they can’t patiently wait for it to take effect and keep at it long enough — they want results NOW.


Yvonne Blake said...

Good thoughts, Jonathan. I like the association of patience with love. Real love does show patience.


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