That so lofty word, concept, virtue, and fruit of the Spirit. Whatever you want to call it, patience is great to desire, but not necessarily so easy to live out; especially when you live in a microwave culture like we do. However, without patience our relationships would cease to exist.
There is a reason that Paul starts off his renown definition of love with: “love is patient,” (1 Corinthians 13:4). Patience presupposes hope, expects growth, and assumes the future looks different from the past and present.
In my marriage my wife has taught me patience! Trust me there are times I have had to be patient with her, but her patience for me has blown me out of the water. One of the greatest witnesses to her love for me is in her demonstration patience and faith in God’s ability to grow us.
If she left me for every time I have lagged on completing a project on the house, being sensitive to her feelings, or even getting to that thing I said I’ll take care of later, I would be a lonely man. But, she doesn’t just see me for now, she sees who I am becoming, who we are becoming.
Patience presupposes hope and begins with vision. She has a vision for our marriage, knows there are steps taking us forward, but realizes that we have not yet arrived at perfection. In relationships, perfection is seen as an antagonist of patience. Perfection is the finished product, but patience say, “We’re getting there.” The two seem like enemies, but really are meant to work in tandem. Perfection is the fulfillment of the vision, patience helps us to get there step by step.
Those who lack patience lack vision. If you lack patience it is not because you are not holy enough or even that you don’t love enough, it is because it that area, relationship, job, or situation you have lost vision. Love is patient because it always hopes, but hope fails to exist without vision.
In the place you have lost patience I encourage you to ask God for a renewed vision. Is it a friendship? Is it at work? Is it for your family? Love is patient, love never fails, love always hopes because love does not lose sight of what God promised, what can be, what should be, what must be. Love patiently moves towards the fulfillment of the vision with eager expectation and full assurance that it is coming to pass, moment by moment, step by step.