On more than a few occasions, people have mentioned to me: “You are very patient,” or, “you seem so calm.”
Possibly, my outward demeanor conceals what’s really going on inside of me. The truth is, impatience comes easy for me. It requires no effort. I didn’t have to study to learn how to become impatient.
Even little things in life reveal my limited capacity of patience; a line at the bank with tellers that want to smile and talk with customers while keeping me waiting to make a deposit!
And then, there are more significant issues where I allow myself to justify my impatience: Projects that become stuck, an uncertainty that drives me to find clarity, strained relationships where nothing I’m doing is working, financial challenges for which I have no quick-fix-solutions other than winning the lottery, etc.
Our impatience robs us of the importance of waiting. We’re prone to do whatever it takes to change our situation or to fix our problems, quickly.
The disciples (followers of Jesus) faced a serious problem after the Lord’s crucifixion and resurrection. They were in the center of a hostile community intent on eliminating those who confessed Jesus as Lord.
Faith for these early believers was more than a popular trend; it was a costly conviction, sure to result in suffering – if not death. They urgently desired to escape the brewing hostility and threats. Anywhere but Jerusalem! It’s not safe. What about our families?
For these faithful followers, impatience was a reasonable response. However, Jesus understands the importance of waiting. He orders them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait – something difficult to do for impatient people (Acts 1:4).
Their willingness to submit their impatience to the goal of patience allows the Holy Spirit to fill them, producing the fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, and faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22).
While waiting is not easy, it’s necessary if we are to discover patience.
I’m not aware of what’s encouraging your impatience, but for me, my impatience is an invitation to wait, be filled with the Holy Spirit, and enjoy the fruit that sustains me in the midst of adversity.