At a youth group that I volunteer at, every week one of us leaders will give a brief message based off of the fruits of the spirit. One of my friends gave her talk on patience. She gave her examples of how she handles patience in different situations. For her personally it’s easier to show patience when she is in a situation where she when it has to do with listening to other people (especially when they are sharing personal feelings or stories about events that took place), however it’s harder for her to show patience in a situation where she has to wait for something to happen (such as working out and getting immediate results).
She quoted Habakkuk 2:3, which says:
“For the revelation awaits an appointed time;
it speaks of the end
and will not prove false.
Though it linger, wait for it;
it will certainly come
and will not delay.”
She also used James 1:2-4, which says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Both of these passages talk about waiting and persevering, both qualities associated with patience. All of us know what it’s like to wait and/or persevere; whether we are a baby attempting our first step, or when we are at our peak years practicing the movements that we have honed over our lifetime, to when we grow old and walking is painful so we persevere with each step.
Everything doesn’t come naturally, we need to take time to get better at things that we do. Most importantly, the message behind her talk is the message of perfect timing. Not just perfect timing in our human terms, but GOD’S perfect timing. Everything happens in a timely fashion and it planned perfectly by God our creator. We may go through trials, but we need to see it as learning opportunities that make us the people we are today. These trials come in many forms, maybe it’s the physical struggle of enduring harassment daily, or maybe it’s the emotional struggle of waiting for good/bad news about a loved one while waiting in emergency, or maybe it’s the spiritual struggle of not knowing what the meaning of your life is and the struggle of wondering if there even is a God out there. In any of these situations, patience is key because all these situations should not be destinations, rather they are rest stops along the highway of life. If we stop here, we sill never know what the city looks at at the end of the highway.
Her personal example that she gave was about her experience looking for a job. For two years she looked for a job and applied to many different places, but never even got a reply call. Last summer, she decided to give it one last try and she got a job at a fast food joint. She had to lower her expectations for what sort of job that she wanted to get. She had to persevere with the job hunt before she even got a job that was originally very low on her list of job opportunities. Now that she is here, she knows that this is not the destination and eventually she will move on in life to get to the real destination.
She ended off her talk with Jeremiah 29:11 (MSG), which says:
“I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”
So may you find comfort in this and persevere in life.