“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:25
One of the most difficult virtues to obtain is patience. This world thrives on speed. We try to rush through tasks and work, just to get to the next thing on our to-do list. It is difficult to sit and wait on things. But God doesn’t operate that way.
Many years ago, our family was fortunate enough to have Disneyland Season Passes. Our daughter was about four years old. In a four year old’s mind, things need to be done right away or tears begin to happen. Disneyland truly was ground zero for impatience. Long lines for rides and food, waiting to meet Disney characters and even to park my car became teachable moments for both my daughter and I.
My daughter and I were in line to meet the Disney Princesses. This particular line usually was 2 hours long wait and for a four year old (and 35 year old) that was a bit too much. But this day, it was “only” 30 minutes. We were standing in line and my daughter was very excited. She pointed at the little girl in front of me. This little girl was glued to her mother’s smartphone. I told my daughter, “I don’t have games on this phone, so we need to wait patiently and we will see the princesses very soon.”
I specifically made a conscious choice to not have games or play videos/movies on my phone. My reasons were I wanted my daughter to learn to be bored once in awhile, plus the screen was not good to look at for long periods of time. It seemed like a smartphone was becoming another pacifier for toddlers, children and even many adults.
The mom noticed my daughter looking at her daughter. She smiled and said, “I don’t know what I would do without my phone. It keeps my daughter occupied, so she isn’t out of control.” (**) I smiled and said, “I want my child to learn to have patience while standing in line, so I’m that mean mommy that doesn’t let her look at my phone.” Her smile quickly faded and she turned herself back around.
I wasn’t trying to sound more righteous than her. But I realized, there are times we must learn to wait for things that we can have no control over. This ranges from such things as waiting for a ride at Disneyland to waiting for the right spouse or job to come along and going to school for a degree. I want my daughter to understand, not everything can be done quickly and good things do come to those who wait. We survived that line (without the phone) and she met Princesses Ariel, Belle and Tiana. Ariel told her she had pretty mermaid hair. My daughter seemed so happy.
God knows that we hate to wait. God makes us learn patience. In my opinion, patience is the most quickly answered of prayers. We all need patience and we pray for it. Then we go about our day and seem to be behind the slowest driver or we are behind that person in the line at the grocery store that pulls out a checkbook. The Israelites lacked patience when Moses them led them out of the Egypt. 40 years? Oye Vey… God forced them to deal with their impatience but their promise was fulfilled. Let God do that work in us.
Lesson Learned: May we remember to allow God to do His work and remain patient with hope. And we don’t need YouTube videos or Instagram to make the waiting go by any faster.
(**I completely understand that some special needs children may need these devices to help them, but that child in line with us was not in anyway a special needs child.)
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being impatient and blaming you Father for not answering us right away. Sustain us during those times of waiting. Have us be calm and relax. Thank you that you are doing a mighty work in us when we are learning to be still. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”