Patience in His perfection

 In faith, family, The Plan

Back in high school, my seminary teacher taught that if we pray for patience, we’ll receive opportunities to be patient. That didn’t sound too appealing to me, so I made a mental note not to pray for patience. Well, Heavenly Father knows I’m in need of this virtue even if I’m not going to seek it out … so He’s sending opportunities anyway.

“Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God’s will and accept His timing. When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith – you must wait for the Lord’s promised blessings to be fulfilled.” (“How Do I Develop Christlike Attributes,” Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service, 2004, p. 115-126)

When I read that yesterday, I nearly laughed out loud. Those words describe the absolute opposite of my behavior in reaction to some bad news about my father’s health. I flashed through stages of anger, frustration and anxiousness. I did NOT hold up under pressure or face the adversity calmly and hopefully. I fell apart. I threw a tantrum. I crumbled.

I will say, after the initial eruption of emotions (which is undoubtedly a normal reaction), I am feeling more hopeful and more peaceful … BUT, that’s only because I’m seeking Him more diligently and trying to surrender the stress to His all-knowing, all-loving and perfect ways.

Slowly, I’m learning that when I feel like throwing my hands up, I really need to throw them together – in prayer.  

It’s clear that in today’s high-speed and instant gratification world, patience lacks. We’re used to getting what we need as quick as our thumbs can move, or as fast we drive through, or at least an overnight express can deliver the goods. So, it feels piercingly painful when answers and solutions are unknown, unpleasant or nonexistent … when we can’t get what we need or who we need as quickly as we need it.

“Perhaps the practice of patience is more difficult, yet more necessary, now than at any previous time,” said the late Joseph B. Wirthlin. “Too often, we are impatient with ourselves, with our family members and friends, and even with the Lord. We seem to demand what we want right now, regardless of whether we have earned it, whether it would be good for us, or whether it is right.” (Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Patience, A Key to Happiness,” April 1987).

The Lord is teaching me that practicing patience equals practicing trust in His perfection. I must trust that He knows what’s good for us and what path is right. I must trust His eternal plan and His eternal timing by keeping an eternal perspective and an eternally grateful heart.

It’s amazing how all the Gospel principles fuse together when founded on Him. By practicing trust, we build faith … which creates hope … which develops patience.

The apostle Paul explains the purpose of patience by fusing Gospel principles like this:

“We glory in tribulations … knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope” Romans 5:3–4

Tribulations – even the ones that knock the wind out of us and leave us in desperation – are for our good … and that is cause for glorifying Him. It’s not easy and doesn’t come naturally (for me), but I want to give God the glory as we go through these difficult days. I hope to do so by seeing the Good, loving the Good and sharing the Good.

Here’s to patience in His perfection
and joy in the journey!

How do you practice patience and glory in His perfection when your world feels far less than perfect? I’d appreciate hearing what helps you!





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