Monday, 26 March 2012

Pause In Lent #5 – Patience

A Pause in Lent Floss

Patience – the Pursuit of Peace

Of all the virtues, I will admit this one is truly the hardest for me.

I am always on the go, forever busy, eager to complete tasks.

Impatience does not make one a good cook. Ask my family about the innumerable disastrous meals I have served – either undercooked because I was impatient to get them on the table promptly, or overcooked, because I turned up the heat way too high, in the hopes that the food would cook faster.

Why do you think my family always pray before meals?

rockwell prayer

I get impatient with myself when I cannot manage something. Over the years I have got a little bit better about being patient with others when they do things more slowly than I would like. And I hope I do not get as impatient with God as I did in my youth, when prayers were not answered as quickly as I wanted.

  • Will I ever pass my driving test?
  • How long till I find the Right Man?
  • When will I be able to travel abroad?
  • Why hasn’t X become a Christian yet?

And I can still hear my Dad’s voice, wise and loving, saying

“Possess your soul in patience, my child”

And being an impatient person [or living with one in the family] certainly does not make for a peaceful existence. Down the years, my kith and kin have been far more tolerant with me than I deserve.

So many of the things I have read about patience, and my experience down the years, have helped my to realise that patience means waiting on God, to use the quaint old phrase. Life is often difficult, and turbulent, and the things we long for seem far away and taking forever to get here. But God has everything in hand, and if we trust Him, it will work out fine in the end. So we achieve nothing by irritated impatience.

Be still before the Lord and WAIT PATIENTLY for him[Ps 37]

Live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and PATIENCE [Col 1]

with seeds

There is no point in pacing up and down like an impatient cardinal or an angry chicken! To everything there is a time and a purpose under heaven- and in the end it will work out just as God planned it. As Julian of Norwich wrote, six hundred years ago

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well

So I am still working hard at attaining this virtue [as it says on the tee-shirt ‘please be PATIENT, God hasn’t finished with me yet] and as I seek to possess my soul in patience, I am humming Spafford’s great hymn to myself

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

[by the way, the answers to the four prayers above- February 1978, June 1978, July 1981…and still waiting & praying. And congratulations to Steph for passing her driving test last week!]


  1. Thank you for a thoughtful posting on patience, or impatience, as the case may be. Waiting is a hard thing.

    Singing along with the hymn was a nice way to begin the morning at the keyboard.

  2. Patience, so many of us struggle with it!
    Jane x

  3. I also struggle with patience, I want things to happen NOW, but have been trying to relearn to Trust in Gods timing!


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