The dictionary defines patience as “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I don’t know about you, but most of the time I fall short of that description, especially in what has grown to be a very long and drawn-out period of quarantine. Yet patience is a Biblical virtue and it provides evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives (Galatians 5:22). For Scriptural inspiration on this subject, there are several characters I look to, but one of my favorites is Moses. If you can imagine, this man of God lived to be 120 years old and his life was broken into three 40-year intervals. For the first third of his days, he was a prince in Egypt. Raised by Pharaoh’s daughter, he was privileged, educated, and enjoyed the luxuries of a member of the royal palace. Then, when he was 40, he killed a man for abusing a fellow Hebrew and fled to the desert where he stayed for another 40 years. Finally, when he was 80 years old, his true destiny was revealed by God — He was chosen to lead the Jews out of Egypt. Fascinatingly, while we think of 80 as being the tail-end of life, Moses didn’t fulfill His greatest call until he had eight decades behind him! You see, God is never in a hurry and His timing is always frustrating to us. However, it’s on the long roads of our lives that He cultivates the most strength, empathy, and power in our souls.
My friend, among the many precious pearls being fashioned in you in this time of irritation, patience is at the top of the list. As you are forced to yield yourself to the frustrating timing of a God who sees the beginning from the end and is never in a hurry, you are becoming more like Him in contentment, joy, and perseverance. Like Moses, you will step into your destiny in His perfect time, but it may be later than you desired or expected. Nevertheless, this season plays a vital role in shaping your character, and only after you have weathered the storm will you understand just how much the tempest strengthened your spirit and stirred a fire in your soul.