Patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. People are not born patient. We want instant gratification and we want it now. Google provides us with the information we search for in about 5 seconds. Chick-Fil-A provides us with a delicious chicken sandwich in 60 seconds. We are used to and love instant gratification. What if we can’t have what we want when we want it? We have to be patient.
Patience is a word that God has set on my heart for quite some time now. I picked the word patience to be my word/theme for the year. I have never been a very patient person, so it has been quite an adjustment. A year and half ago I made a huge transition in my life by moving from Greenville, SC to Atlanta. My move has forced me to practice patience in multiple areas of my life. I’ve had to be patient in the process of making friends. I’ve had to be patient in the process of finding a church. I’ve had to be even more patient in the process of trying to get involved and serve at my church. And then, the elephant in the room, I’ve had to be patient in seeking a potential lady friend.
Romans 8:25 says, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”
Romans 8:25 hits the nail on the head for me. When I first moved to Atlanta it was impossible for me to see the life that I wanted in such a new place…so I had to wait with patience. I wanted to duplicate the friendships that I had in Greenville. Impossible. I wanted to go all in with a church and volunteer in any way they needed me. Not realistic. I’ve wanted a companion who has my back and I can hang with. Hard to find.
I had a choice. I could sulk and complain about my new ATL life or I could embrace it.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.”
The definition of patience says to accept or tolerate the suffering without getting upset or angry. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t angered at some points, but I combated the anger with prayer, late night work outs, and FaceTime sessions with my best friends. Also, I would say the best thing for me to do when I would start feeling sorry for myself was to shift my mindset from my life and my situation to others lives and their situations. I have tried to make more of an effort to stay connected with my family and close friends. It is crazy how much joy you can give your grandparents with a simple 5 minute phone call. Take the focus off of yourself and ask yourself, “How can I build up others?” We can all find ways to feel sorry for ourselves. Don’t do it.
Patience is definitely something that you acquire as you get older. I would encourage anyone reading this to just stay after it…don’t give up. Don’t allow yourself to get too down. Every morning when you wake up you have the opportunity to choose your attitude. If at this moment you are not where you want to be in your life then find comfort in knowing that God is not done working through you. Be still and know that He is God.