Waiting for patience
Listen to this daily worship
Psalm 40: 1, 17 (NRSVA)
1 I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
17 As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God.
I can never decide whether God has a wicked sense of humour or an expert comic’s sense of timing. Probably both.
One or the other has surely been in play over the last hour when I decided to take a pause in writing about patience to deal with upgrading one phone contract and ending another. Never was patience more needed as I am pretty sure the girl I spoke to was on her first day in the job. She kept reverting back to the script whenever my request confused her, including telling me her name multiple times, insisting that she was here to help me, thanking me for my loyalty and, dare I say it, my patience.
I didn’t feel patient. In fact I could hear my tone of voice getting more and more clipped as I responded to each attempt to read me the list of options, and every worried explanation. The third time she put me on hold I heard her whisper “zero usage” in panic and confusion to a neighbour.
How does God do it? And how do we emulate such patience? The beginning of Psalm 40 suggests that the psalmist has cracked it, he is ‘waiting patiently for God’, learning to respect God’s timings and rhythms. However, the end makes me laugh. “Do not delay” he finishes. How wonderfully human. I want patience and I want it NOW!
Help me to learn that waiting can be good
That it is possible to breathe through the frustration
That I cannot always have the answer I long for
That sometimes the process of waiting leads me to a different answer
One which you were waiting for me to grow into.
LENT FOCUS 5: PATIENCE
This week we focus on ‘patience’. Try taking some time each day to quietly spend five minutes in silence, not doing anything, just stilling yourself before God and resting. You don’t need to feel any pressure to think about anything in particular. Don’t worry if you get distracted. Gently calm your mind and, if it wanders, bring it back to the idea of quiet and silence.