Photo by Debbie @ It's All About Purple - graphic by LeAnn
Patience is a virtue that leads to Charity. To me this particular attribute of Christ is a difficult one. I find in my own life that to be patient is hard. As a young mother I struggled with being patient with my children. I am often impatient with myself; expecting that I can do more than I realistically can.
I think I am safe to say that everyone struggles with being patient in various circumstances. I know that my husband is impatient when driving of which sometimes so am I. I am often impatient when having to wait for something or someone.
Waiting for things for me is always hard. We do live in a fast paced world with instant messaging, fast food, long lines, difficult traffic and etc. I get really impatient on the computer some days. I want to know how to do various things and I don't want to wait to learn them. I want everything to come easily with out a struggle.
I can say that as I have become older and I hope wiser that I am also more patient. I can say for sure that I am more patient with grandchildren than I was with my own children.
Pres. Dieter F. Uchtdorf in a talk entitled; "Continue In Patience" stated the following: "Patience -the ability to put our desires on hold for a time - is a precious and rare virtue. We want what we want, and we want it now. Therefore, the very idea of patience may seem unpleasant and, at times, bitter.
Nevertheless, without patience, we cannot please God; we cannot become perfect. Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace".
Pres. Uchtdorf further states; ".......I learned patience was far more than simply waiting for something to happen - patience required actively working toward worthwhile goals and not
getting discouraged when results didn't appear instantly or without effort.
I remember when taking piano that I had a very difficult time being patient with myself. I wanted to play really well; but even with practice it didn't come easily for me. Perhaps, it isn't one of my gifts. However, because I like to play I have determined to play the best I know how too. This takes patience and practice. I don't believe I will ever be a great pianist but I would love to someday just be able to play the hymns fairly well. I continue to struggle with time to put this desire into practice; therefore testing my patience further.
Pres. Uchtdorf further states: "There is an other concept here: patience is not passive resignation, nor is it failing to act because of our fears. Patience means active waiting and enduring. It means staying with something and doing all that we can -working, hoping, and exercising faith; bearing hardship with fortitude, even when the desires of our hears are delayed. Patience is not simply enduring; it is enduring well!
We need to remember that the Lord's timetable may not be our own time table.
Another thought by Pres. Uchtdorf in relationship to this is; "Everyone of us is called to wait in our own way. We wait for answers to prayers. We wait for things which at the time may appear so right and so good to us that we can't possible imagine why Heavenly Father would delay the answer".
My husband and I had a moment when we had to wait for a period of time for him to find a new job. He had worked for a company for 17 years. It had been bought out by another company. In the midst of this change; he was let go. It was devastating to us. He was given a small severance package and we had hopes that he would find a good job quickly. That was not to be. He was out of work for 9 months. We prayed mightily, fasted, attended the temple and did everything that we thought we needed to for us to receive the blessing of a job. It seemed so right and yet this desired for blessing did not come.
At the end of the 9 months he received three job offers all in one day. There was pressure to make a quick decision. We really wanted to go where the Lord would want us to go. We were in Utah and decided to walk around the Salt Lake Temple grounds. While walking and praying the answer came. It was so very clear that we were to move back to Salt Lake where we would be nearer more of our family and extended family. This particular job was the lowest pay and the highest cost of living. The answer was so profound that we just knew that if we came we would be blessed. We have been greatly blessed by this move. The answer to why we were to be here didn't come into full fruition until about two years later. Now we know exactly why we are here. This particular test took a leap of faith and a great deal of patience. We were so grateful for this answer to our prayers and the lesson we learned through patiently waiting upon the Lord.
My challenge to us all is to learn to be more patient with ourselves, with others and especially to be patient in learning the path we are to be on. The Lord is aware of each of us. He has a plan for us and if we patiently wait upon him we will know the direction to take.
I love this old Sunday School Hymn:
If the way be full trial; Weary not?
If it's one of sore denial, Weary not!
IF it now be one weeping,
There will come a joyous greeting,
When the Harvest we are reaping--Weary Not!
Do not weary by the way,
Whatever be thy lot;
There awaits a brighter day
To all, to all who weary not!
One final thought that perhaps the next time you have to wait a long time in a grocery line; stop and observe those around you and see if someone needs to go ahead of you. Maybe you can be pleasant and extra kind to the checker. Next time let a car go ahead of you when leaving a busy parking lot. Do a kind deed in your impatient moment; you will be so happy you did. This will be one more step towards gaining Patience - A Heavenly Virtue.