The Art of Waiting! (Patience)
I always thought I was a patient person, until I was told I have to wait. I can be patient enough when I am not in a hurry, but when I am in a hurry or want things to get done and in my time frame, maybe I am not so good at waiting. Maybe I have fooled myself into thinking I am patient, when really, I am not. When I am not on a time schedule, I would say I am quite patient.
Have a chat with your neighbour. Would you say you are a patient person?
… we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But, if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:23–25 (NIV)
In the above Bible verse discuss the connection between HOPE and PATIENCE.
I have always felt that there is a relationship between hope and patience. Both “hope” and “patience” involve things that have not yet come to fruition, and they both require waiting. In the Romans 8 text, Paul talks about our hope for the future promised us in eternity, it is not yet here, we can’t rush it, but it is definitely worth waiting for and so we wait patiently.
When I was going through teacher’s college and LTC (back in the day), I was planning for my future occupation of working with children and helping them to learn the basics as well as learning about Jesus. Everything I was taught, apparently, was helping me be a better teacher, but some subjects like Philosophy of Education, tested my patience in knowing how it related to my future work. I was hoping to be a good teacher, but until the day finally came, when I was given my position and calling as a Lutheran school teacher, my hope was turning into reality. But still I had to wait and prepare and be patient for the day to come. I couldn’t hurry it, but there was a timeline. My patience had a final purpose evolving.
I feel that the above story relates to our hope in Jesus and all that we are waiting for. We are told all about Jesus. We go to studies and listen on Sundays to the sermons and learn of our future hope. It doesn’t make the time go faster, but it gives the waiting a purpose.
When waiting has a purpose – patience is easy.
Think about the above thoughts. What strikes you? Do you agree with the above thought about waiting and patience?
Share a time when you had to wait and have patience and the fruit that ensued.
The Bible has much to say about patience and waiting.
Break up into pairs or small groups and assign each group a different Bible verse.
What is the verse telling us about waiting and patience?
When each group has finished, have a leader in each group share the Bible verse and the groups’ thoughts about the verse.
• Ecclesiastes 7:8
• Colossians 1:10–12
• 1 Timothy 1:15,16
• Hebrews 6:11,12
• James 5:7,8
For many women, the epitome of waiting and patience comes in pregnancy when awaiting the birth of a new child. Not all have experienced this time of waiting or may have difficulty remembering the expectancy process, but for those who have, share with others what you remember. God gave pregnancy nine months of waiting and hoping. Why do you think he did that? He gave that to us in order to prepare, to be ready, for the child to form an attachment to the mother, the father, the rest of the family.
God also gives us a time of growth to get ready, to wait and to prepare.
What sort of things do you think God is wanting us to get ready for? To prepare for? To hope for?
Are you able to be patient as we learn and wait and hope? What do you struggle with?
Patience is a gift of the Spirit for a very good reason. It is something that needs to be worked on and practised in our everyday lives with everything we do. I don’t believe that one day we just amazingly become an expert at each of these fruits. They are called “fruits” for a reason … growing, watering, feeding, and nurturing has to be done in order to produce them.
Galatians 5:22: But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
“In God’s good timing” is another phrase that I hear quite often. God’s timing is perfect and for that we have to wait. But one thing we don’t have to wait for or to have patience is our salvation. That has been secured through Jesus on the cross when he shed his blood that we may inherit life eternal.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person – though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Romans 5:6–8 (NRSV)
So, there you have it – our salvation has been assured and we are promised eternal life … now we just wait for this promise with patience!
Prayer: Our dear heavenly Father, it is in the waiting that we know you are at work in our lives. Give us the patience to know that you are working every day for our good. Help us to learn more about your love that we may be growing disciples for you and the Kingdom. Thank you that our salvation has been secured for us through your Son. In your name. Amen.
Pray the Lord’s Prayer to finish.