Having Patience Under Stress
“Patience is a virtue” was an expression I heard a lot growing up! Now that I am almost 50 years-old, I have an inkling of what my parents meant. There are times in life when all that can be done is to wait and that is a good thing. Sin can create in us a sense of urgency that isn’t necessary. This urgency motivates us to act when we don’t need to act. Acting in such situations sometimes creates more problems than it solves. What is needed is a little patience. It takes self-control to hold oneself back from acting when all that can be done is wait. In Psalm 40:1 David wrote, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me, And heard my cry.”
Lack of patience can also cause us to use our tongues incorrectly by saying things that we should not say. Sometimes a person may feel like he just must say something. He feels awkward when there is silence among others. So, he blurts out the first thing that comes to his mind. Maybe it’s innocent, but maybe it isn’t. Patience will help one to keep one’s tongue in check. James 3:2 says, “For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.” Alas, there are no perfect people, so James states, “But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison” (James 3:8).
So the next time you feel motivated to “do something,” ask yourself, “Do I need to wait and see what happens first?” Psalm 37:7 says, “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.”