Waiting Can Be Hard
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. . I remember when my husband died I so desperately wanted to know and have so many things fixed.
- What happened with the accident?
- What is the purpose of this trial?
- How will I continue on?
- What will my life look like now in the future?
- What should I do now?
These were the questions that plagued my mind and troubled my thoughts. I desperately wanted answers, and I wanted them RIGHT NOW! How could God deny me answers? After all, He had taken my husband. Fifteen months later I look at my life. Holy cow! It is nothing like I envisioned it to be. I would have never guessed the things that would transpire, or are currently in the works. This different direction for my life is not bad either; in fact, I think it is turning out much better than my original fix-it plan. However, in the beginning, I wouldn’t have been able to accept all of this. I wasn’t ready yet. Time, experience and study had to carve out a place in my heart for change and acceptance. I had growing to do first before I was ready for answers.
“Indeed, patience is a purifying process that refines understanding, deepens happiness, focuses action, and offers hope for peace.”
If we, as God’s children, are ever going to mature and reach our potential, we must learn to wait. For it is in that waiting that we grow and mature.
Patience Isn’t Merely Waiting
Patience is persistently, steadily and consistently working.
In the process of actively waiting, working, hoping, and exercising faith we learn to give up a bit of our ‘center of the universe’ syndrome. We get rid of some of our self-absoprtion and selfishness. Once I decided to get up from the mud, I began to look around, and I realized there were other people who were hurting too. I began to see that by sharing my hurt and the lessons that I was learning that I was able to help other people heal. The joy of helping others, in turn, helped me to heal. While I was waiting for the answers I focused on listening to the spirit and doing what it prompted me to do. Miraculously, trying to help others gave me the very answers I sought. It created the place in my heart to receive them.
If you give grace, you receive grace.
I found that the only way that I was able to help and influence people was if I was being patient with them. So in patiently waiting on the Lord, I learned also to be patient with others. I knew this process was taking me time, so I began to see that other people needed time to work through their difficulties. God was being patient with me, so I needed to be patient with them.
“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained…, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned.” D&C 121: 2
Caring creates faith in others by allowing them to feel God’s love, creating a place in their hearts to receive.
“As the Lord is patient with us, let us be patient with those we serve. Understand that they, like us, are imperfect. They, like us, make mistakes. They, like us, want others to give them the benefit of the doubt. Never give up on anyone and that includes not giving up on yourself!” – Deiter F Utchdorf
- Staying with something until the end.
- Delaying immediate gratification for future blessings.
- Accepting that which cannot be changed and facing it with courage, grace, and faith.
- Being “willing to submit to allthings which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.
- Being “firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord” every hour of every day, even when it is hard to do so.
“The Savior Himself said that in your patience you possess your souls. Or, to use another translation of the Greek text, in your patience you win mastery of your souls. (see Luke 21:19)”
It is in the waiting rather than in the receiving that we grow the most.
The Lord Blesses Us for Our Patience
Never give up. The lessons we learn from patience will cultivate our character, lift our lives, and heighten our happiness.
Questions to Ponder:
1. How can learning patience be an asset to future relationships?
2. How does understanding the purpose of patience help you want to practice patience?
3. How can you better demonstrate patience?
Elder Uchtdorf’s talk “Continue in Patience”