I don’t like waiting. I want dinner to be ready five minutes ago. I want my friends to show up at the scheduled time. I want to have a deep loving relationship in a matter of a few weeks. The truth is that many of the things I wait on in life are out of my control. I don’t get to choose what time my friends will show up. I don’t choose when I will fall in love. If the person cooking dinner is slow, then dinner won’t be ready until they are done. If you are like me, you don’t like waiting. It isn’t easy to wait. I don’t know a relationship that doesn’t have some kind of waiting involved in it. Waiting is part of life. Consumer culture says, “You can have what you want when you want it.” The Apostle Paul writes, “Love is patient.”
Patience is the opposite of the consumeristic mindset today. When I think of patience, I think of waiting. Patience is not a measure of time. Instead it is the measure of your trust in God, your kindness to others, and your hopeful expectation of a good outcome in the face of adversity. The Bible talks a lot about patiently waiting. The question is, “What do you do while you’re patiently waiting?” Here are four keys to living a patient life in Christ.
- Saturate your mind with the Word of God. The more you fill your mind with the Word of God, the more likely you are to align your life with the ways of God. God’s Word leads us to live God’s ways.
- Serve someone daily. I find when I intentionally serve one person, I end up serving other people. Service spills over. Service connects us to the heart of Jesus when He said if we do these things, we will be blessed. (John 13:17.)
- Exercise. Paul said, “Physical training is of some value.” 1 Timothy 4:8. It isn’t the only valuable thing you can do, but it is valuable. Get yourself fitter than you’ve ever been, walking with some confidence as you take care of the body God has given you.
- Praise God in this season. How can you praise God in difficult times? Praise focuses on who God is. You can praise God knowing His promises are true in any and every season.
Lord, help me learn to work while I wait on you. I want to have a patient heart, but I don’t want to use patience as an excuse for laziness. Help me seek You, serve Your people, exercise, and praise you in this season.