Patience worth waiting for

At one time or another, most of us have encountered a feeling of impatience—perhaps paired with restlessness or anxiety—with ourselves or someone else. We may think of impatience as something that rises up when things don’t seem to be moving fast enough, and of patience as just passively resigning ourselves to or putting up with something.

But there’s another way to think about the concept of patience—as active and productive. When patience is grasped as a spiritual quality of abiding constancy and stillness that allows us to hear God’s guidance, whatever the circumstance, great good is possible.

Such patience is a gem, for­—as the Living Bible puts it—“when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. So let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete” (James 1:3, 4). Thinking of patience coming to full bloom not only is beautiful imagery but alludes to patience as always flowering and flourishing instead of running out or becoming stagnant.

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