I used to privately call myself, ‘Lady in Waiting’.
Even now, I always hear the clock. Ticking, ticking. Time’s ticking away!
It seemed I was always waiting for something to change. (Finishing school, growing up, getting married, having kids, etc.) I’ve done all those things, and there are STILL more things I’m waiting to happen.
Now, I’m more comfortable with the waiting. Things will happen when they happen. I still want to make the most of my time, but I do it differently.
Patience and Long-suffering are two words used in different translations of the virtues in the Fruit of the Spirit verse in Galatians 5:22-23. Another word that is closely related is perseverance.
“Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us” (BSB). Romans 5: 3-5
I see perseverance as the ability to keep on, keeping on. It requires grit, hard work, and a good amount of stubbornness. It’s like, ‘Bring on the rain!’ and ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.’ TOUGHNESS.
Or, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (NIV). Galatians 6:9.
Where patience feels like there’s an end in sight, long-suffering, not so much. It’s right there in the name, long.
This is the kind of long that happens when a husband and father goes on deployment after deployment, with the wife and mom doing her best to handle the kids, house, work, and pets on her own.
This is the kind of long when someone lives with a chronic disease or handicap that isn’t ever going to go away.
This is the kind of long that prays for something or someone consistently, and not seeing the results of those prayers for 20, 30, or even 40 years. Like walking in the desert.
This long-suffering belongs with the other virtues like joy, gentleness, and kindness because if it didn’t, it would lead to bitterness and death.
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer” (NIV). Romans 12:12
Long. Time. Coming.
In education, we work to help students build up their reading stamina – the energy, focus, and length of time students can sit still and read. It’s the same in crosscountry and most other cardio sports (soccer, basketball, etc.).
We recognize the strength and power in that kind of stamina. Let us practice the same through our daily disciplines of prayer, study, and loving one another.
“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled” (NLT). Romans 15:4
One day, we won’t have to wait patiently, suffer, or persevere. Time will no longer be a thing.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (AKJ) Romans 8:18
You Got This! (Well, actually, God’s got this, and He’s got you.)
“The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory” (NIV). Isaiah 60:19