Posted by: Diane | September 20, 2013

Patience Here, Patience There

There’s something about a small town store that seems to suddenly prompt customers to dig deep into their pockets and purses for loose change to pay for their merchandise – I’ve seen it happen over and over again. The customer comes in, finds an item and heads toward the front counter to pay. The purse or wallet comes out and the inevitable digging begins. I spend more time waiting for customers to count their nickels and dimes than any other activity in the store. I blow up balloons, process dry cleaning orders, price merchandise, stock shelves and clean but it’s the “looking for loose change” ritual that takes most of my time. It’s a wonderful opportunity to talk with customers…

…but it takes patience.

My sister in law graciously recently gave us a pretty, glass dish soap dispenser that has found a home near the kitchen sink. When it’s time to hand wash some dishes, I reach for the dispenser, turn it upside down and no exaggeration, it takes six seconds before the soap starts to drip out. This is the perfect time to  take a deep breath and enjoy all the action at the bird feeder that stands outside the kitchen window…

…but it takes patience.

A couple of times a year, my back goes into spasm and this involves about two days of agony before the muscle relaxants kick in and the spasms stop. One way of preventing the spasms is to lie on a special back pillow twice a day for ten minutes. This stretches out my back and although I know it’s really good for me, it’s tough for me to stop my day, get on the floor and do nothing but sprawl across a pillow. About two years ago, I decided to use these twenty minutes a day to pray and that’s a good decision…

…but it takes patience.

When I get out of bed in the morning, I’m on a roll. Life is an adventure and I truly want the next 24 hours to count. Generally speaking, I’ve got a good attitude about my days. I’m not a complainer, I’m not a whiner and I do what I need to do. However, sometimes, my rhythm gets interrupted and my patience is tested.

I will never forget what my husband said to me one morning, when I thought I was “patiently” waiting for him to finish his coffee so we could get going but apparently, I wasn’t exuding patience at all. Chris got frustrated at me and said, “More patience, Diane. Less reaction.” I don’t know where he got those words but they were profound and they have stayed with me for years.

David G. Allen wrote, “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.”

I agree. I am very aware that my limited perspective and pro-active planning is but a flashing glimpse of the big picture, that only God can see.  Although intellectually, I accept the idea of God’s timing and I am willing to wait for His best, it’s hard work.

Waiting is hard work.

With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, Ephesians 4.2.ESV

Better is the end of a thing than ints beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ecclesiastes 7.8 ESV



  1. Much wisdom there Diane… Often I think I am patient and then something happens to show me that I haven’t arrived in that area- and get stretched some more… and it’s good!

  2. So true!! I am very patient with my students and most people but I have no patience when I get interrupted in the middle of doing something or someone makes me wait at the line up. I keep telling myself that God ‘s timing is perfect and things happen according to His plan.

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