patience at Jacksonville Presbyterian ChurchYou might remember comedian Yakov Smirnoff. In one of his routines, he spoke about when he first came to the United States from Russia and was stunned by the incredible variety of instant products available in American grocery stores. He said, “On my first shopping trip, I saw powdered milk, you just add water, and you get milk. Then I saw powdered orange juice, you just add water, and you get orange juice. And then I saw baby powder, and I thought to myself, “What a country!”

Smirnoff was joking of course. But it is true that many of us are always looking for the quick fix. We like instant gratification and we are put off when we have to wait on anything!

You may be in a situation where you are having to wait. Perhaps you are waiting for an answer to a prayer, or for a loved one to get well. Maybe you are waiting for a new job, for a child to get her act together, or for clarity on a problem you face. It is difficult to wait, and yet sometimes we have no choice.

But we do have a choice about how we wait. We can wait in anxiety and worry. We can wring our hands and complain bitterly to anyone who will listen. Or, we can wait in patience – with trust. Yes, there may be steps we need to take. There may be issues we need to talk through. There may be heart-felt prayers that need to be lifted up. But once we’ve done our part, we need to trust that it is in God’s hands.

Patience is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Korean American pastor and writer Joshua Kang makes the claim that patience is a prerequisite for peace. He goes on to write, “People who have patience lack nothing. People who have patience have everything.”

Let us pray: Pour out your Spirit on us again this day, Loving God. Fill our cups to overflowing again with your grace. It is hard to wait for answers to our prayers, and in our daily struggles we need your strength. We need to be reminded that you are good and that you are with us. Grant us the patience and the courage we need for this day.

Photo on Visual hunt