We may feel that we need patience to grow in order to persevere through trials.
Zac Eswine observes that trials reveal the impatience which manifests and lurks in our lives.
The growth of patience is a greater blessing than the departure of trials.
The joke in Christian circles throughout my life has been, “Pray for anything except patience. You don’t want to see what God will give you if you ask for that. Praying for patience is dangerous.”
I’ve laughed and told this joke. Now I think the joke is on me. I never realised how the joke presumes that one can follow Jesus without patience. It also assumes that God will not bother with patience in our lives unless we ask for it. I have been wrong on both counts. One assumption in the joke is true: patience is often learned within the context of trial. The trials seem like interruptions to our otherwise good lives. But more often that not. the trials become the dogs that bark at the impatience and haste that sneak into the halls of our lives. We wouldn’t see the intruder lurking to harm us without such barking. And impatience does harm to us. In God’s eyes, it will do more harm to us than our trials. (James 1:2-4)
Without patience, love is distorted; faith is not possible; hope fails. Impatience violates love, hurries us into walking by sight, and usurps Go by putting the fulfillment of our hopes into our own hands.
Zac Eswine, Sensing Jesus, Crossway, 2013, pp 272-273.