On a recent trip to NYC, there was a problem with the plane that caused a massive delay. The minutes ticked by and it was evident I was going to miss my connecting flight. I was agitated and frustrated but was eventually able to switch planes resulting in a different arrival time.
I was so impatient that morning, and truth be told, did a little grumbling under my breath, but taking the alternate flight started a series of events that led to an incredible blessing. Unbeknownst to me, my parents (who I hadn’t seen in over a year) were also in New York that day. They too had a series of events that resulted in them being there a day later than planned. We were able to meet up for a great evening. If everything had gone according to schedule, we wouldn’t have connected and would have missed out on a chance to spend that time together. We had been missing one another, and the annoying delays were the tools that brought us together. If I had known the reason for the delay, I wouldn’t have grumbled, complained, or gotten upset. I would have been patient and gladly embraced it.
Isn’t that the way it is throughout the waiting process? We don’t understand the delay so we grumble, complain, and get upset. We get agitated, frustrated, and allow the waiting time to be something negative in our lives. Instead, why not use the wait to develop patience in our lives? Patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay. It’s not just waiting; it’s how we act in the waiting.
When we don’t understand the postponement of our promises, we can look to God’s Word to help us find meaning. James 1:2-4 tells us that the testing of our faith produces patience. When the work of patience is finished, we will be perfect and complete--lacking nothing. If we knew the blessing the process would produce in our lives, we would gladly embrace it, allowing patience to refine us and bring us to a place of wholeness.
We have to remember that God’s ways are not our ways, and sometimes He uses even the most irritating setbacks to shape and develop us, helping us to become perfected in a greater way!
What recent event required patience that you didn’t feel you had at the moment?
In what ways could you have responded differently?
How can you develop patience in your delay today?
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