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30 March - Waiting Without Complaining

Recently whilst driving, I witnessed impatience at work and saw an illustration of the danger of giving way to such a trait in our lives.

There was a small gap between cars in the next lane to us, and people were merging into these very small spaces, causing the other vehicles already in the lane to have to brake suddenly and dangerously. The car in front of us decided this type of merging was a good idea and decided to "squeeze" into a space in the lane next to us. However, the nearby driver, who was towing a trailer, did not agree and reacted by angrily tailgating the offending vehicle down the road for several minutes as punishment for their impatient merging, which nearly caused an accident as a result.

The adage "patience is a virtue" is one most of us are familiar with, and it's a character trait that we can benefit from practising and becoming strong in.

But what is patience, and what does it look like?

A definition of patience is "waiting without complaint". And there are many times we have the opportunity to exercise patience. From waiting to be old enough to do something or go somewhere, waiting for a promotion, giving ourselves time to gain an education or to learn new skills, taking the time to save financially, waiting to meet your partner, and being patient as you build your relationship, waiting for a child to be born, waiting for the right time, the right place and the right "God moment".

Life is full of waiting, and it's the art of waiting without complaint that most of us lack. Instead, we can exhibit the opposite trait of impatience, which manifests in us as complaining, irritability, anger, and lack of self-control.

But God has a better way. He wants us to trust Him and know that He always has the best in mind for us. I have discovered that God's best, however, can take a little more time and organising on His behalf before it arrives in our life than we would usually like.

But that's where patience goes to work because without it, it's easy to give up, consider letting go of our hopes and dreams, and get into doubt, disbelief and impatient complaining.

I think that's perhaps because the root of our impatience is often fear. Fear that God doesn't care or even see us, that things won't work out, that we will fail or be left alone, and that our dreams and prayers won't eventuate. When we allow fear to dictate our emotions and thoughts, we can easily grow impatient because we start to believe the worst and focus on the negative about our lives.

Faith and fear are opposites, so where there is fear, our faith isn't operating as it should, and patience is not at work.

Today if you are struggling with impatience, and all the character issues that go along with that, don't give up. Don't succumb to the temptation to let go of your dreams and what you're believing and praying for.

  • Spend time with Jesus, and allow His love and kindness to heal your disappointments and negativity.

  • Keep the vision before you of what you are waiting for. When you can see clearly and clarify what we are waiting for it helps you to wait patiently.

  • Let His Word sink in so that it can go to work to encourage and renew your thinking and strengthen your faith.

If you continue to take the time every day to do that, you'll soon discover that the fruit of patience will grow in your life, and you will increasingly grow in the ability to, "wait patiently without complaining."

"We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised." (Hebrews 6:12)

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for your plan and purpose for all my life. Please help me to keep trusting you for the best in my life. and to not give up because it may be taking longer than I would like. Please help me to wait patiently, trusting that you have it all under control. In Jesus' Name Amen

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