I've made a decision. It's a real biggie. Are you ready? Fridays are now Piper days as far as this little blog goes. Piper, meaning Dr. John Piper.
Today I will share some of my favorite quotes on the subject of impatience from his book, "Future Grace."
Impatience is a form of unbelief. It's what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God's timing or the goodness of God's guidance. It springs up in our hearts when our plan is interrupted or shattered. It may be prompted by a long wait in a checkout line or a sudden blow that knocks out half our dreams. The opposite of impatience is not a glib denial of loss. It's a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness to wait for God in the unplanned place of obedience, and to walk with God at the unplanned pace of obedience - to wait in his place, and go at his pace. And the key is faith in future grace.
The apostle Paul prayed for the church at Colossae, that they would be "strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience" (Colossians 1:11). Patience is the evidence of an inner strength. Impatient people are weak, and therefore dependent on external supports - like schedules that go just right and circumstances that support their fragile hearts. Their outbursts of oaths and threats and harsh criticisms of the culprits who crossed their plans do not sound weak. But that noise is all a camouflage of weakness. Patience demands tremendous inner strength.
If we believed that our hold-up at the long red light was God's keeping us back from an accident about to happen, then we would be patient and happy. If we believed that our broken leg was God's way of revealing early cancer in the x-ray so that we would survive, we would not murmur at the inconvenience. If we believed that the middle-of-the-night phone call was God's way of waking us to smell smoke in the basement, we would not grumble at the loss of sleep. The key to patience is faith in the future grace of God's "glorious might" to transform all of our interruptions into rewards.
In other words, the strength of patience hangs on our capacity to believe that God is up to something good for us in all our delays and detours. This requires great faith in future grace, because the evidence is seldom evident.
Please, buy this book!