Read Isaiah 40
Focus on verse 31
No, not the kind of patients that the doctor visits in a hospital, though it often takes a bit of patience to be a good patient. I’ll admit it… I don’t like to wait. I have, however, been around long enough to discover that waiting can have some advantages. It is quite possibly one of the many lost arts that a culture of instant gratification has inadvertently trampled underfoot. In our fast paced, greed driven world people who have mastered the art of patience are few, but they are also typically revered and respected.
In today’s chapter of Isaiah, we read, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; that shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run ad not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (v. 31) Interestingly I would have to admit that nearly all the people I have met who demonstrate the discipline of waiting on the Lord, typically exude strength. Not necessarily the kind of physical strength that a body builder or weightlifter demonstrates. The strength of a patient person is an inner strength. It is the kind of strength that other people can draw strength from causing them to leave the encounter encouraged and empowered.
Not surprisingly, patience is not something that can be learned quickly. It takes years of discipline and many failures to arrive at a point where one is considered a patient person. Ironically, as is true of many of life’s virtues, a truly patient person most often does not think of himself or herself as being very patient. On the other hand, those who seek to flaunt their patience typically turn out to be fakers.
In his letter to the Galatian church the Apostle Paul calls patience one of the facets of love, which he calls the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In other words, when the Holy Spirit of God dwells within a person, that person begins to bear the fruit of God’s love, which manifests in various forms, one of which is patience. A list of the others can be found in the fifth chapter of Galatians near the end of the chapter.
Apparently the way we go about gaining the virtue of patience, is to first of all invite the Holy Spirit to take control of our life, and then to subsequently, merely allow God’s love to flow out through us as we interact with other people. Seems simple enough…but I can’t help wondering why it seems to be taking so long? I suppose I’ll have to be patient?