Patience

Abraham

PATIENCE is hard for us to learn. I don’t know anyone who likes the trait—we simply don’t have time for patience! Life is fast, time’s running out, and we’ve got to get this show on the road, right?  Paul wrote the following on the subject of patience:

For when God made [His] promise to Abraham, He swore by Himself, since He had no one greater by whom to swear,

Saying, Blessing I certainly will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.

And so it was that he [Abraham], having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained [in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come] what God had promised him.  Hebrews 6:13-15

            This is clearly how most of us act, even if we don’t say it in so many words. Perhaps that’s why Scripture includes abundant examples of godly patience and its reward. Over and over again, we see the heavenly Father making promises to His children, only to have them wait years—sometimes decades—for the promise to be fulfilled. But the result of that patience is always blessing.

            Consider Abraham. At age 75, he was given God’s promise of a son. Ten years later, he was still waiting. Fifteen years passed, then twenty, and still no son. At last, when he was 100—a quarter-century after the Lord had made the promise—baby Isaac was born. Surely Abraham must have had times of doubt during that lengthy wait. However, he continued to trust in God and kept watching for the fulfillment of His promise.

            There are plenty of other examples. As a young man, Jacob met the girl of his dreams, but he had to work many years before making her his bride. Joseph had a God-given vision of blessing at 17 but languished more than a decade in slavery and prison prior to receiving the reward. And David was anointed King of Israel as a teenager but spent the next 14 years or so running for his life before taking the throne.

            Shortcuts never lead to where God wants us to be. The long road, however, is filled with faithful and patient servants. Are you waiting on the Lord today? Be encouraged—you’re in good company.