Imagine: you’re waiting in line at a coffee shop for your favorite coffee. You’re in a huge rush – you have to get to work in fifteen minutes – but the lady in front of you has never read the menu before, and she has three kids to order for, too. Tapping your foot impatiently, you sigh. You know you need this coffee in order to get through the day, but there is no way you have the patience or the time to wait in line behind the lady and her kids and then wait again for your drink.
You have several options in deciding how you’re going to respond to this situation: you can (1) decide to come back later, (2) offer up not getting a coffee that day for a special intention, or (3) get angry at the lady for taking so long and cutting into your time.
How many times have you been in a situation like the one above? Most people would generally agree that the first two options are the better ones, and yet many of those same people, when placed in that situation themselves, would find it extremely difficult to remain patient and not get angry.
Patience is defined as “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like,” according to dictionary.com.
Patience is defined as “the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like”
Being patient is hard! It requires practice and serious effort to obtain patience. Changingminds.org explains how patience is one of the Seven Contrary Virtues. Patience contradicts anger, and brings about peace.
The key to patience is ultimately accepting God’s plan, even when something annoys or upsets you. It is through this trust and acceptance that you can really bring peace and patience into your life. If you truly trust that God wants what is best for you and will take care of your life, there is no reason to be impatient because we can be assured that everything does in fact happen at the right time and for the right reason.
Below are some examples where the virtue of patience is important. Think of some moments in your life where you’ve either cultivated patience or given into frustration and anger. How can you work to be more patient in the future?
- If your siblings are bugging you, take a step back and ask yourself how you would want to be treated in that situation. The Golden Rule is another reason to always be patient. Matthew 25:40 tells us that whatever we do to the least of our brothers, we do to Jesus. Do you really want to snap at Jesus through your family because you’re having a bad day? Do you really want to be angry at Him through your friends because the plans you made didn’t go your way?
- If you disagree with your parents because you think they are unfair, stay level-headed and patient with them. They are trying to give you the best life you can have, even if it seems like all they are doing is preventing you from having fun. Your parents have been patient with you since you were a baby and could not do anything by yourself. Return their patience with love and kindness.
If you truly trust that God wants what is best for you and will take care of your life, there is no reason to be impatient because we can be assured that everything does in fact happen at the right time and for the right reason.
In every situation that tests your patience, understand this: God wanted you to wait. God wanted you to treat your sister with kindness even though she borrowed your curling iron without asking. God had it in His plan. He never plans anything that does not have a reason behind it. Every struggle that he allows you to experience is ultimately for a greater good. Stay patient and offer up your anger. Give it to God; He will fix everything!
So… next time you’re waiting in line for coffee, know that God had it in His plan for you to wait in line – he had a reason, we are simply called to trust!