Be Patient and Pray
I called our seventy-something-year-old handyman Joe recently to see if he could fit us into his busy schedule. He answered his phone in the middle of fixing a refrigerator and said that he would have to call back later that day. “But don’t worry,” he continued, “I have your number in my book at home.” “But Joe,” I replied with irritation, “can’t you just simply save the number I am calling from and return my call sooner?” “Not with my flip phone,” he said. I wanted to instruct him on his need for a smartphone. But then I remembered that I was calling him because ol’ Joe knows how to hang doors, install ceiling fans, and repair windows, and he has mastered other useful tasks that intimidate me before I even try.
Growing in patience requires vigilance over the course of our lives. The young believer can be greatly encouraged, however, at progress in patience, knowing that patience is evidence of the Holy Spirit at work: “But the fruit of the Spirit is … patience” (Gal. 5:22). God will not quit the work He has begun (Phil. 1:6). Yet, we mustn’t delay the effort on our part to grow in patience, for as James reminds us: “You do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes” (James 4:14).