It’s often joked about in Christian circles not to pray for patience. We say this for our own comfort because we know that when we ask for a trait, God often teaches us through object lessons. And because we’re being honest with ourselves, we know we don’t want to be put through a trial for something like patience.
We totally make excuses for having a lack of patience. “What’s the big deal I get agitated in traffic? Everyone does.” “So what I tap my foot in irritation and sigh audibly when someone is taking too long to order their coffee? It’s not as if they heard me anyway.” “It’s no big thing if I’m a little short with the cashier; after all, can’t she see I’m in a rush!?”
Hitting close to home? Jog your memory of how you are impatient throughout your day? (And, yes, I would say getting frustrated with technology counts).
These seem like obvious, no brainer impatient moments. Your “typical” impatience.
So then, if there is a typical impatience does that mean that there is an atypical impatience? Or perhaps it’s an impatience we don’t fully understand nor often recognize.
Impatience with God.
At the core of impatience I see a lack of grace and a lack of trust. A heartitude (attitude in the heart) as my husband and I tell our daughters. When we have a lack of patience with our situation we ultimately are saying we disagree with or don’t trust God. I make this conclusion because there is a level of peace that happens when we are fully trusting and relying on God that can ease all those daily agitations and annoyances and issues.
This is so hard!
Have you ever prayed for something for so long and not seen any answers in the way that you’re praying? I have. For years I have prayed and seen essentially nothing. Or at least, what I perceived as nothing. No answer from God, maybe one step forward but then two steps back, no lasting positive change. Can you say disheartening!?
I came to a place where I was impatient of waiting for change; I became angry with God; I wasn’t trusting His process.
I have learned that when I am feeling impatience in situations I’m generally focused on the world portion not the spiritual portion. I’m focusing on my own time table and not trusting in God’s.
So what should we do when we have reached impatience, when we stop trusting, when we have forgotten grace? Lean in. Bring whatever it is you have to God. Even if it’s as little as, “God…” Remember that He will use faith the size of a mustard seed (which isn’t much bigger than the period at the end of this sentence) to move mountains (Matthew 17:20). Hang in there girl, I’ve been there, and God does hear even when all seems gone, lost and hopeless.
Here are some verses to meditate on:
May our God, who is always good, dwell richly in your heart, dear sister.