The Practice of Patience

If there was ever a time to discuss patience it would be now. We are in a season of social distancing, quarantine and our lives have all taken an unexpected turn. Similarly we do not have a end date. We do not know the future. We do not know when we will resume our prior lives. If there was ever a time for us to practice patience it is now.

We all like to make plans. Most people would say that it is a good idea to have a plan. For having plans helps us stay on track and accomplish the necessary tasks in life. Walking through life with no direction and no plan is a bit chaotic. We as humans instinctively make plans for the future. I do not think this wrong or bad per se but we should always keep in mind our plans are the product of us humans. We humans do not know what the future will bring. It is in this uncertainty that we should be turning our eyes to God and asking for his plans and will to be done. God very much knows the future. But we can make Jesus our plan. We can abide in Jesus so that we are part of God’s plan.

For people like me who prefer to do be doing something, prefer to be active and are the opposite extreme of lazy the mandate to wait and be patient is not something I like doing. The only times I have sat on my butt not doing anything have been when I was to sick or to injured to get up and do something. Even when I have been sick and injured I have been known to almost crawl in an attempt to be doing something. Patience has never been my greatest virtue. Similarly it is hard to be patient when you do not have an end in sight. How can we be patient when we have no idea what the future will hold? How do we be expectant when we do not know what to expect?

But we as Christians may not know the time but we do know the end result. We do not know when but we do know what to expect. We do have an end in sight. Jesus is the means to that end. We have the promise of eternity. We have the promise of being with our Heavenly Father. We have the promise of a new body not affected by the illness of this life. We have a promise of freedom from sin and suffering. We may not know the time. We may not know when but we should know what to expect. This is something worth being patient for. But similarly we know that until the time our father calls us home we should expect difficulty, illness, struggle and suffering. For just as Christ suffer we to suffer. But we do not suffer in vain for the promise of eternity with God is worth being patient and enduring. Amen

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door! Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple “Yes” or “No.” Otherwise you will be condemned.” James 6:7-12

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