The word patience comes from the Latin verb ‘patior’ which means “to suffer.”
Doctors waiting room, patients waiting, some less than patient. ‘He is normally not like this, we have been here an hour’.
The patience of the patient is wearing patently thin!
I find waiting difficult. I think most people do, especially in a world that is so instant. Within seconds I can talk to someone across the other side of the world while the things that really matter to me the most, relationships, well they take time, patience and waiting.
Do you struggle with waiting?
At the start of the year I decided to focus in on reading one passage of scripture everyday. It was Psalm 40, and I haven’t managed to read it everyday, but I have most days.
I have had to wait on God to speak to me through breathe filled letters, spaces and full stops.
Here are the first 3 verses.
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. Psalm 40:1-3
The passage whispered to me.
You can always wait impatiently. Muttering under your breathe, pacing, stewing, grumbling and complaining, but David tells us to wait patiently.
What God does when we wait with patience.
- God inclines to me. God bends towards me, turns to me, takes notice.
- God hears our cry. God shows attention to the depths of my heart. When my children were young and they wanted to get my attention they would sometimes shout. Quietly I would respond ‘Your shouting so loud that I can hardly hear you’. Perhaps it is the same with God, our shouting and ranting alienates God from our hearts cry.
- God draws us out of a desolate pit. Pits or holes were often used as prisons and toilets. As we wait patiently God draws us out of the prisons we have, and out of the stench that clings to us.
- God draws us out of a miry bog. Sticky, clammy, and stuck. Calamity comes upon us and we just can’t escape it. God draws us out.
- God sets my feet upon a rock. God places me on a firm foundation, solid and secure.
- God makes my steps secure. I walk a new path secure that God is with me.
- God puts a new song in my mouth. Something good is happening with in. Something is being released, it is bubbling up as song of praise. From a cry of pain and suffering to a song of worship, praise and thanksgiving.
It all depends on us waiting patiently.
Waiting is the action, patience is the attitude. (Tweet it)
Waiting patiently is suffering through the present moment, tasting it to the full, and letting the seeds that are sown in the ground on which we stand grow into strong plants.
Waiting patiently always means paying attention to what is happening right before our eyes and seeing there the first rays of God’s glorious coming. Henri Nouwen
Questions to consider and leave a comment.
- What thoughts and feelings do you have to oppose in order to wait patiently?
- What practices help you to learn patience? Stillness, silence, solitude? What helps you?
Photo Credit: Samuraijohnny via Compfight cc