Bob Haley

Bob Haley

The hardest three words for a young boy to hear are, “Wait for it.”

My mother’s attempt to instill patience in me was often challenged with the dreaded response, “Why?”

Being patient is not a natural instinct for any of us. We don’t always know why we want something but we know we want it and we want it now!

Marketing and advertisements know this and manipulate us at every turn.

Christmas, birthdays or the newest toy on television were all opportunities for my mother to instill life’s lesson on patience.

At times, I felt as if I were a dog. I would be given treats for behaving in the proper manner. However, that behavior often was accompanied by gritted teeth and anger that I was being made to wait.

How are you with patience? As I have grown older, I have noticed two things about mine: It is easier to be apathetic than to be expecting, and people cause me the most impatience.

When Jesus ascended into the heavens, he asked his disciples to be patient.

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:4-5)

In an amazing demonstration of patience, the disciples did as Jesus requested. Gathering in the upper room, they devoted their time in prayer.

“They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.” (Acts 1:14) Ultimately, it was 10 days of prayer before the arrival of the promised Holy Spirit, on Pentecost.

Patience is not natural, yet the disciples were able to use prayer to be patient.

Prayer is an intentional time of focusing on God, and this time in prayer shapes how we see the world and our own desires. We are reminded that as Lord, His will and His authority reign.

Prayer is a spiritual discipline that can guide you through the difficulties, trials and suffering of this life. It requires developing as we focus more on what God wants over what we want from God.

I believe that God allows us to endure suffering with endless patience as it draws us closer to Him.

As you walk through your unique life, you do not need to walk alone. He is more ready to hear our prayers than we are to pray.

When your natural patience seems to be at its limits, turn in prayer to God and ask for patience from Him. Everything comes to be in His time, not ours.

“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5:7-8)

Wait for it in prayer.

Bob Haley is assistant pastor of Christ United Venice.


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