I am by nature, an impatient person. When I was younger, I remember how I would transfer from one bus to another, if the one I was riding on was too slow. Over the years, the Lord has somewhat mellowed me down, but the tendency to speed up things is still there.
After months of quarantine, I suspect that the patience of not a few of us is at an edge. Being confined to our houses, some as small as a room, is not easy. For some, this means losing the opportunity to earn income, putting their families at risk. For others, boredom and worry could be spawning massive headaches and mental stress. For students, school at home demands learning new skills and disciplines. For lovers, separation creates an unbearable pain. Travels have been put on hold, stranding countless numbers away from home.
For the Christian, one cause of impatience is the lack of physical gathering in churches. They long for the mutual love and edification that seeing each other breeds. They miss congregational singing that reverberates in their worship halls. Even more so, they want to listen to the Word preached by a man of God in person. Blessedly, numerous churches are starting to open their doors on Sundays, albeit with limited attendance.
In contrast to us, God is never impatient. Quite the reverse, He is a patient God. He is never in a hurry because He already knows what will happen having ordained all that comes to pass. We see this in the life of Jesus. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle around Him, He always acts according to the timetable set by God.
Just as amazingly, God’s patience is exhibited by how He treats us sinners. The apostle Peter said that “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God is patient or longsuffering because He wants sinners like us to turn back from our sins and come to Jesus in faith and repentance. He has promised to judge and destroy the ungodly. But the reason He has not done so is to give us a chance to forsake our ways and embrace Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
In light of the patience of God, Christians are called to be patient as well. Indeed, patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit (see Galatians 2:22-23). As we remain confined to our homes, may the Lord grant us holy patience to submit to His loving will.