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“I want some ice cream, Mommy! Mommy, I want some ice cream! I don’t want to wait until after dinner (cue the over-dramatic, Oscar-worthy crocodile tears, and some child throwing him or herself onto the floor-don’t hurt yourself); I want ice cream now!” We’ve all been there. Whether we want to admit it or not, we’ve all had those moments in life where we’ve REALLY wanted something-whether it be food, money, clothes, shoes, to hang out with our friends, etc., and we were so impatient, we didn’t want to wait for it, and we couldn’t handle any answer other than “sure, honey, here you go.” We didn’t suddenly become impatient overnight; the human race has been impatient since the beginning of time-yes, even during Jesus’s time. The Bible teaches us that God doesn’t want us to be in a rush to do or receive anything; he wants us to talk to him (prayer), trust in him (faith), learn about him (Bible), make sure that what we think we want is right and good for us at that time (not every “good” idea is a “God” idea), as well as take time to listen to, learn from, and love one another (a great children’s book on patience is The Berenstain Bears, “Patience, Please,” available on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2wPUdrp). A few particular scriptures come to mind:
- Proverbs 14:29 (KJV)- He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly. When you’re in a situation that you don’t like, don’t be so quick to get mad. When we’re angry, we’re more likely to make mistakes, and God wants us to be calm and think things through.
- Exodus 14:14 (KJV)-The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Jesus is always with us, will protect us, and will do the things that we can’t do. All that we need to do is talk to him, believe that he wants us to be happy, and wait for him to answer our prayers.
- Psalm 103:8 (KJV)- The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. God loves us, he gives us things that we don’t deserve (like getting that new bike, even though that last report card wasn’t too hot), and he doesn’t hate us or get mad right away when we make mistakes-he is PATIENT (there’s that word again)-he takes time to understand why we’re doing the things that we’re doing, he takes time to learn about us, and he still loves us, even if he disagrees with us.
A perfect example of how God teaches and rewards patience in the Bible is the story of Job. Job was a rich man-he had a wife, 10 children, servants, and all of the land and animals that you could want (remember, everyone, there weren’t any five-story mansions, Ford Mustangs, yachts or $500 sneakers during Bible days). Job loved God and always tried to live the right way (as God wants all of us to). Job wasn’t perfect (he made mistakes like we all do), but he was as close to being perfect as a regular person can be (the only perfect person to walk the Earth was Jesus Christ himself-God in human form-and he’s OBVIOUSLY not just some regular person). God was very proud of Job, so proud, that he actually told Satan (the Devil himself) to mess with Job, just to test Job’s patience and to show Satan that Job truly loved God for God, not just because God had given him so many things. I found a great YouTube video from Jacob Solomon that breaks down the story of Job. Grab your popcorn and soda, pull out the La-Z-Boy, and let’s get ready to learn about Job! Three, two, one…ACTION! Click it and kick it!
Jacob Solomon, “Book of Job For Kids” (YouTube):
As we can see, God wants and expects us to come to him, trust him, and be patient when we want something to happen. If what we ask for is good and God wants us to have it, he will give it to us at the right time, which may or may not be right away. If we ask God for something that is not good for us, or that he doesn’t want us to have (either because we won’t know how to handle it or will make bad decisions if we get it), he will give us something even better, and we’ll forget all about that other thing we thought we wanted (it’s like asking God for a single chicken wing, but he instead gives us a nice, juicy steak. Chicken, who?). All in all, God rewards patience. Let’s be patient with our children. Let’s be patient with our parents. Let’s be patient with one another. Let’s be patient with God. When we do, we’ll get all of the ice cream that we can eat, plus more!