By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.
Patience can persuade a prince, and soft speech can break bones. (NLT)
Patience is a virtue, or so they say. The problem is that patience is a difficult virtue to acquire. Patience cannot be purchased, but has to be learned, perhaps over a lifetime. Children are especially known for their impatience, but are adults any better? Consider the behavior of motorists where impatience creates danger when drivers fail to wait, give way, or take their turn. Running red lights seems to be a sport in my small town, where for the sake of about ninety seconds drivers risk putting their foot down to squeeze through when the lights have gone amber, or even red. Every now again there is a collision, but my fear is that one day an impatient driver may kill a pedestrian.
There are examples of impatient men in the Bible. King Saul waited seven days for the prophet Samuel to arrive at Gilgal (1 Samuel 13:8-14). Boredom eventually got the better of Saul and he took it upon himself to make a burnt offering. Samuel arrived soon after and told Saul that because of his impatience he would lose his position as king. Eventually Saul did lose his kingdom to David, but David was patient and wise in his dealings with Saul, waiting for the moment ordained by God and not aggravating Saul during the waiting.
The challenge that many of us face is waiting for the moment ordained by God. Our timing is not his timing. Rushing ahead and trying to do what we think God wants is crazy when we know what we know about God. The phrase ‘all in good time’ should perhaps read ‘all in God’s time.’
I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. (Psalm 27:13-14 NIV)