Patience That Calms Impatience - The One Year Salt and Light Devotional

Patience That Calms Impatience

Psalm 37:1-7

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. (Psalm 37:7)

THOUSANDS OF PHILISTINE WARRIORS were gathering to take revenge on Israel, and Saul’s army began to panic (1 Samuel 13). A battle was inescapable, but the Israelites were greatly outnumbered. Saul waited for the prophet Samuel to come make an offering and ask for God’s favor. The longer Saul waited, the larger the Philistine army grew and the more afraid his own men became. Finally, after seven days, Saul took matters into his own hands and made the offering himself. Then Samuel arrived, informed Saul that he had acted rashly, and declared that Saul’s reign would not last much longer because of his impatience.

Patience is an attribute of God, a fruit of his Spirit, and a common characteristic of his Kingdom. Those who enter into relationship with him will have to learn it well. That presents a huge problem for us. As technology advances, human beings are becoming more and more conditioned to be impatient. We’re accustomed to microwave cooking, drive-thru windows, and ATMs, and we even get agitated when a web page takes more than a few seconds to load. From our perspective, time is precious, and we don’t want to waste it. We forget the big picture of God’s Kingdom, which he has been cultivating for millennia. He sees the entire timeline of history at once and asks us to see it with the same certainty. He wants us to live with a sense of his timing.

When we really learn how to do that, we become the antidote to a restless society, an urgent situation, or even a room full of impatient people. The calm patience within us can defuse the impatience in those around us and reassure them that God has all things in his hands. When we reflect and represent the God who does not panic about anything, we prepare hearts to open to his ways and see from a different perspective. Being still in the presence of the Lord makes his presence much more known.

{Lord, I confess that I struggle with impatience. I know you are ageless, but I am not, and I want to make the most of my time. Help me see the big picture so others will see it too. Let me rest in your presence so it becomes all the more visible to those around me. Amen.

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