by Bob Gaudi
Recently I was on my way home and in a hurry—for no reason, as usual—but I was still in a hurry. Then as luck would have it, a traffic light turned red and I was forced to stop. As is my nature, I was not happy as my mission was being delayed by an unnecessary perturbance in the form of an inanimate and brainless thing. This happens to me a lot and I suspect to others of similar ilk who possess little or no patience.
Well, I got to thinking about this lack of patience I can have. The Bible has many comments regarding patience. Paul mentions patience many times and even names it as a fruit of the Spirit. He also talks about Christ’s unlimited patience and about his own patience. 1 Thess. 5:14 tells us to be patient with everyone. There are also several Proverbs where patience is mentioned. Peter says that God is patient with mankind, wanting us all to come to salvation (2 Peter 3:8-9). Peter also says the Lord’s patience means salvation for us (2 Peter 3:15).
Patience is a really good thing. So why is it so hard to come by? The answer is because we are human and we want instant gratification. However, God is not about instant gratification for us and our desires. His thoughts and ways are different than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9). He knows what is best for us and has a plan for each of us.
God reigns sovereign over all creation. To be a sovereign ruler is to be supreme, absolute, and unlimited in power and freedom to act. So if God is in fact sovereign—and He is—then that means He is in control. Period. He can call the shots. That also means we are not in control. Being human, we like to think we are in control of our little spheres of influence. We manipulate things, events, and people to move in ways suitable to us. Sometimes we can achieve this, but we also need to fully understand that this is not being in control; it is God’s way of letting us exercise our free will. There are many times that God orchestrates things in ways suitable to Him and not to us. He can do this because He is God (remember the sovereign thing!).
Do what I have been trying to do: understand the relationship between you and our Heavenly Father and know that He WILL instruct you in His ways and His timing.
Humans plan, God laughs. You have probably heard that before and I think it is true. I think stoplights, slow drivers in the fast lane, people with about 25 items in the ‘10 items-or-less’ line—you get the picture—these are just a few of God’s many ways to show and remind us of exactly Who is in charge. It’s not us. If things don’t go your way or if things are too slow to develop or the light turns red, know this: God is in charge and you are being reminded (think edified) as to this fact.
Patience means thoroughly understanding this concept. We just need to pay attention and BE PATIENT. Keep trying! I have been trying for 79+ years and (I think) I am getting better at it. The next time you encounter a red light, hopefully it will remind you of Who is really in charge.
Thank You, eternal Father for reminding me of Your sovereignty and of Your good and perfect plan for me. Thank you for being there for me, no matter what, and for helping me appreciate everything You are and the majesty and glory of Your existence. Help me to always remember who You are. In Jesus’ name, Amen.