Patience is a virtue… a virtue that doesn’t come very easily to me. We should probably start off by understanding what we mean by virtue. A virtue is a character trait, something about our character that is thought to be a good thing.
Advent has officially started now, not just because it is December but also because there are only 4 Sundays left before Christmas. Advent is all about patience, waiting for the coming of the king, the promised saviour, the prince of peace.
The Bible is full of stories where people had to be patient, they had been promised something amazing, but they had to wait for that promise to be fulfilled. Abraham, Moses, Noah, Isaiah.
Why do we value patience so much? We are told that it is a fruit of the spirit, along with love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. This means that it is something that grows within us, as we develop in our faith.
We live in a world where we can pretty much get whatever we want whenever we want it. We don’t have to wait any more, or if we do it’s not normally for very long. However, waiting is part of the journey, it is often a time when we can learn more about ourselves, about each other, about the thing we are waiting for. It makes the fulfilment of the promise even more special.
Patience is also valuable when talking to other people, we can quite often jump in and make other people’s decisions for them, finishing off their sentences, but by being patient we can allow people to grow and develop within themselves.
Our thought for the week comes from Stanley Hauerwas and says
Advent is patience it’s how God made has made us a people of promise, in a world of impatience
The Bible is full of promises from God, promises that we long to see fulfilled, but that we don’t always see in the world. This can become disheartening, except Advent reminds us of the greatest promise, that was spoken about throughout the Old Testament of a saviour being sent. Lots of people lost patience, gave up, and yet Jesus was the fulfilment of that promise. We can trust that God will fulfil all those promises, but we must be patient, and trust His timing. It might be frustrating, and disheartening but we will be amazed at what we learn throughout the journey.
Challenge: is there something that you are particularly impatient for at the moment? Think about what you can learn/develop if you are patient for that thing
Prayer: thank you God that you fulfill the promises that you make. Thank you for the promise of new life with Jesus. Help us to trust your promises and give us patience to wait for their fulfilment and enjoy the journey. Amen