“Be still before the LORD, and wait patiently for him.” Psalm 37.7 (RSV) “For God alone my soul waits in silence, for my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62.5 (RSV)
Is the exhortation from those lovely psalms, to wait and fret not, our experience? This is not an attitude normal to people as we know them in everyday life. In modem western society patience has become ‘conspicuous by its absence’. Everything is needed at once. How refreshing to meet a motorist who gently ‘gives way’ although not required to do so. How dangerous is the driver who impatiently forces his way forward regardless of others. Discourteous haste is not confined to travel and is all too apparent in trade and commerce. The skilled craftsman does not produce good workmanship if in a hurry. The surgeon does not complete a successful operation by ‘cutting corners’ and saving time. Impatience could never help a parent or teacher to produce good and lasting results in handling young folk. Competition may have its place on the sports field but it has less value in the ‘work-place’.
We need to consider the environment in which we live. We are urged throughout the Bible ‘to be patient—to be still—to wait’ yet this is not our natural self. Too readily we are like the world in which we live; we fret and become anxious. We find it hard to wait for results; even more so we find it almost impossible at times to be what the Bible calls ‘long-suffering’. The reason is simply that human nature rebels against a Creator whose laws demand patience. The wonderful environment in which we live cannot be hurried. Trees and plants grow slowly (as a rule) and the animal world works to a wonderful time mechanism. But man cannot stand the slow pace of nature and wants to speed everything up. The cry for bigger, better and faster results are stimulated by the ‘root of all evil’, the love of money. Observe our Saviour at work. Jesus went about Israel with ‘time for people’ although the disciples found it hard to share that spirit. Our Heavenly Father has waited for a long time for mankind to learn the lessons He is teaching. Sometimes people are impatient for Him to do something about trouble in the world. The Bible attitude is patient obedience.