In 1 Corinthians 13, love is described. The first attribute listed is patience. We know God is love, so this verse is actually describing Him.
Love is patient. God is love. Therefore, God is patient.
Patience is the ability to wait or to continue doing something despite difficulties, without complaining or becoming annoyed. It is having the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.
God has plans and dreams for you, and He patiently leads you to them. Our struggles and unbelief don't annoy Him. He doesn't complain about how slow we are. Instead, He pours out more grace and mercy. When we get off the path He has planned for us, He joins us and turns it into an adventure. Instead, He gives more grace and mercy.
This character trait, patience, is one He is working to develop in us.
Every opportunity we have to lose our patience with someone, or become impatient in a situation, is a character-building exercise. I believe, at times, God places us in such situations for that very reason. He wants us to get to the place of maturity where we have the faith and patience to handle anything life, or the devil throws at us.
And then, as your endurance grows even stronger, it will release perfection into every part of your being until nothing is missing and nothing lacking. James 1:4 TPT
Don’t run from tests and hardships, brothers and sisters. As difficult as they are, you will ultimately find joy in them; if you embrace them, your faith will blossom under pressure and teach you true patience as you endure. And true patience brought on by endurance will equip you to complete the long journey and cross the finish line—mature, complete, and wanting nothing. James 1:2-4 The Voice
God's plans for you are so much bigger than you think, but He knows you are not ready for it all yet. So He patiently works with you, day after day, year after year, to get you to the place where you are "wanting nothing", as the King James Bible puts it. This process looks a little like growing bamboo.
- The first year you plant the seeds. You weed, water, and fertilize every day. At the end of the first year, it looks the same as the day you planted it. You see no signs of growth.
- In the second, third, and fourth year, you weed, water, and fertilize every day. At the end of each year, it looks the same as the day you planted it. You see no signs of growth.
- In the fifth year, you weed, water, and fertilize every day. Finally, you see little sprouts begin to break out of the ground.
- Then, seemingly overnight, the bamboo is 90 feet tall.
We will never achieve total perfection in our life time. He knows you will mess up along the way, but His patience with you is unending. He enjoys the weeding, watering, and fertilizing seasons of your journey with Him, just as much as the harvest season. The lack of apparent growth does not irritate Him, as it does you. It is the years when you tend the roots with Him that make you strong. He knows the strength you need to fulfill your destiny and realize your dreams. The day is coming when you will break out and will shoot up seemingly overnight.
He knows it because He has seen it. It is the good life he has prepared and made ready for you.
The next time you are faced with a test or trial of your patience, remember it is part of the growing and perfecting process.
Stay Calm and Carry On.
Enjoy the journey, and hold on.
'Cause going from zero to ninety is going to be a wild ride!