When Your Patience Is Put To The Test

I used to think I was a pretty patient person, until we had children. And though it only took one, by the time we had three, there was no doubt – becoming a parent was like a giant magnifying glass showing me how selfish and impatient I could be.

And the problem wasn’t theirs. It was mine. All three of our kids were really good babies. But when your sweet little baby that you easily adore while the sun is shining is insisting that 3am is the best time for some father/son bonding, you have to dig deep for patience.

One wants to sleep, the other doesn’t

There are so many things in life – some trivial and some huge – that test our patience. A student waiting for school to get out and summer to begin. A parent waiting for summer to end and school to begin. Having to deal with a frustrating automated system on the phone (“press one for…”) when you just want to talk to a real person. Waiting to find the right person and get married. Unrelenting pain, imperfect people, searching for a job. There are so many things in this fallen world that frustrate us and test our patience.

So what do you do when you can’t take it any longer? When you’ve just about run out of patience. When you’re ready to give up.

James gives this advice:

  1. Remember Jesus is Coming – and when He does, all the frustrations and pains of this world will be gone. So while you’re waiting for that day, stand firm. Don’t give up. (James 5:7-8)
  2. Remember Judgment is Coming – and when it does, you’ll no longer need to endure, forgive, or forget others’ imperfections. God will right all wrongs. (James 5:9,12)
  3. Remember Blessing is Coming – and when it does, your faithfulness and patience will be rewarded. The years of waiting for a better life will be worth it. (James 5:10-11)

Patience pays. That’s what James wanted his readers to hear as they were struggling through difficult times.

“You need to patiently persevere the stuff life throws at you. It’s too soon to quit. I know you’re hurting. I know you feel like giving up. I know people can be a pain in the neck. But it’s too soon to give up on them. On life. The Lord is coming. Jesus will right all wrongs. Blessing is coming. Hang in there. The wait will be worth it.”

In-N-Out is one of our favorite fast food places. We love their hamburgers and fries. And a lot of other people love them too! When Bernice and I went there for lunch the other day there were a bezillion cars in line for the drive thru window (okay, maybe it was only 14), but we were okay with the wait. In fact, neither of us complained. Why? Because we knew it would be worth it.

Whatever frustrations you’re dealing with now, be patient. It will be worth it.

by David Gudgel