Hebrews 10:35-39 says, “So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised. For in just a little while, the Coming One will come and not delay. And my righteous ones will live by faith. But I will take no pleasure in anyone who turns away. But we are not like those who turn away from God to their own destruction. We are the faithful ones, whose souls will be saved.”
I must admit that although patience is part of the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-24), so much of who I am is fighting against the idea of “being patient.” It seems as if many inside forces try to override my patience. We want to experience the next thing now. We want to get things done now. Thanks to our culture, we are helped to accelerate our impatience because we can often get what we, now! Our access to information, knowledge, and stuff is just a click away.
I’ve discovered the struggle within myself. It is challenging to find time for spiritual reflection and meditation and spend a spiritual day alone with the Lord because it requires patience. The Bible records a lot about the behavior of the New Testament church believers and their need for patience. It is nice to know we are not alone in our battle! With the advancements of technology, the marketing of a “get it now” mentality has helped us develop the “we want it now” expectation, so we are impatient.
What about Abraham? He was 75 years old when the Lord told him his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the sky. Then came the hardest part. Waiting for the fulfillment of the promise required challenging patience. Abraham was nearly 100 years old when God finally affirmed His word of what must have felt like an old promise that Abraham would be the Father of many nations. The Bible says Abraham inwardly laughed, and his wife Sarah laughed out loud when they heard that this would happen in their old age. Yet even after so many years, the promise was born. The name of that promise was Isaac. Can you see the ironic meaning of the name of the promise? Isaac, in the Hebrew language, means “he laughs.”
It’s hard to wait sometimes. We live in a fast-paced world, and yet patience is often required. We are waiting today, and supply chains are clogged up, stores don’t carry stock, many trades are booked out for months. I don’t think patience comes naturally to most of us, even if it is part of the characteristic of the Fruit of the Spirit. If we are going to grow spiritually, then we need patience.
I remember as a teacher in a 7th-grade class. I passed around a butterfly cocoon. I let the class hold it, look at it, pass it around. We put it back in the jar, and when the butterfly emerged, the wings were crumpled and stuck on its back. I wondered what had happened, and it dawned on me that passing around the cocoon held by warm hands had started the emergence process prematurely, and the result was that the butterfly wings were not functional. It would have been wiser to have left the butterfly cocoon in the jar.
Sometimes we must wait because God’s way requires patience. My prayer for all of us is to ask the Lord to help us “be patient” as He is patient with us even amid our limitations and in our failures. We don’t want to end up with our metaphorical wings crumpled and stuck to our spiritual backs.
We can ask the Lord to help us wait to learn to wait, especially now. It is hard to be patient in this season of a pandemic, in a time of restrictions. Let’s ask the Lord to allow us to be patient even with those who seem to be impatient.
The scripture says patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will then you will receive all that he has promised (Hebrews 10:36).