What Do Farming, Herding, Fishing and Freeway Driving Have in Common?
By Ed Delph
May 28, 2018
All the above require patience. In fact, the key to most everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it open. Patience comes from two Greek words, meaning stay under, not always bobbing up. Most times a handful of patience is worth more than a bucketful of brains.
Today, let’s explore a way of God called patience or longsuffering. Let’s consider God’s patience with us and our patience with God and others. Let’s learn how to give God and time, time.
One of the fruit of the Spirit is patience. The first thing God says about love is that it is patient. When you get married, you don’t get a marriage license, you get a patience license! How? With your spouse, your children, and yourself!
God bears with us for many years, as does your spouse (I couldn’t resist that!). God was patient with Adam and Eve, patient with Abram and Sarah, patient with Moses, about forty years' worth, and patient with Apostle Paul, about thirteen years’ worth. God waited thirty and one-half years before His very own Son started His ministry. Jesus showed incredible patience with His new Board of Directors, from impulsive Peter to doubtful Thomas. Israel was in captivity for seventy years in Babylon waiting for God’s timing. That’s a real ‘wait’ room.
Farmers need to be patient, shepherds shepherding sheep need to be patient, fisherman need patience, building a church or business takes patience, fighting stubborn battles requires patience, and driving on freeways takes patience! Talk about God’s patience with us, just look at the story of the prodigal son.
There’s a cost to impatience. When Moses was receiving the Ten Commandments up on the mountain, the sons of Israel became impatient and built a golden calf in the valley. The cost of their impatience was devastating. Remember the man who said to Elisha, “Why should I wait for God?” He got “trampled underfoot by man.” Man didn’t trample him, impatience trampled him. Just like the children of Israel in their long journey to freedom, we can become “impatient because of the journey.”
Are we impatient because of the journey? The Bible notes, “They quickly forgot His works and did not wait for His counsel.” Ps. 106:13. Sometimes the only thing worse than waiting is wishing you had. Believe me, you don’t want God to work fast in most cases. You just might be the recipient of it!
Impatient journeys can really set us back if we don’t know how to handle them. We can be impatient with God, our spouse, or our family. Many have called their brothers and sisters, ‘bothers and sinisters.’ We can be impatient with others, our careers, bosses, our country, and even ourselves.
Charles Spurgeon had this to say about patience and waiting. "If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord's people have always been a waiting people."
When my daughter Kristin was growing up there was a song that we used to sing together. It went like this: “Have patience, have patience, don’t be in such a hurry. When you get impatient you only start to worry. Remember, remember, that God is patient too, and think of all the other times when others wait for you.” Good advice!
The Scriptures say patience of spirit is better than haughtiness of spirit (Eccles. 7:8). We are to be patient when wronged (2 Timothy 2:24). In fact, we commend ourselves in patience (II Cor. 6:6). And guess what, God has given us the power to be patient We are, “strengthened with His power for the attaining of steadfastness and patience.” (Col 1:11)
God’ Spirit puts patience into us. The key is to use what we already have. And remember, by patience, the snail reached the ark. He made it through morning traffic, too!
Ed Delph CCC May 28, 2018
Ed Delph is a leader in church-community connections.
Visit Ed Delph's website at www.nationstrategy.com