“I’m just not really a patient person…” says the girl on my podcast this morning. I’m struck by how odd of a statement that is. It’s a common enough phrase- we describe people as patient all the time- but what does that actually mean? When we get down to it, is anyone actually patient?
I don’t think so. I’m going to get kind of philosophical here but I’m pretty sure we humans are just a mass of hugely inconsistent contradictions. When you really think about it, people rarely personify one word perfectly. I believe everyone is both patient and impatient.
For example, I am patient with teenagers when I’m trying to teach them how to write. I don’t mind them not getting it right the first time- in fact, I expect the process to be time consuming and somewhat painful. However, I lose my mind when I have to wait in a line. I just lose it. I can’t believe that someone would waste my time for no good purpose (which is why my husband and I bring books to Disneyland).
Isn’t it interesting how we humans want to label ourselves and each other. It feels organized or somehow satisfying to label things or put them into categories. We love pigeon-holing people and then pointing out when they do things out of line from our perception of them.
Is this fair? It doesn’t feel fair. However, regardless of its fairness, it is the reality of how we think about humans. And on a much broader scale, it’s a key difference between humanity and God. We can’t put our hope in people- because people aren’t consistent enough. They’re not safe enough. We think they’re one way and then they go and do something “way out of character.” But who characterized them in the first place? Who decided that they had to be that way?
Humans will fail us. God will not. He is completely unchanging. He was, is, and is to come. He is the perfect version of all the things: love, patience, kindness, peace, mercy, grace, wisdom, etc. We might be patient in one way, but God is patient in all of the ways. And He is patient as we live out this life, make mistakes, run back to Him, ignore Him, and repeat the process all over again.
Our heavenly Father is the only safety. He’s actually the only one we can count on to always be consistently who He is. How beautiful is that?
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” -Hebrews 13:8
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.” -1 Corinthians 13: 4-10