The Peril of Impatienc
by Ron Susek
©Golden Quill Publications
All England awaited the outcome of the battle at Waterloo, fought between Napoleon of France and Wellington of England. Flags atop the Winchester Cathedral were used to relay who won victory. As the flags began spelling out "Wellington defeated . . ." a heavy fog obscured them. England sank into despair as impatient lips spread the bleak news of defeat. When the mist lifted, however, the flags actually spelled out the triumphant message: "Wellington defeated the enemy!"
Patience always waits on divine clarity. It is listed among the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Impatience is a work of the flesh that rushes forward despite a divinely sent fog. We cannot calculate the massive loss that results from impatience. It leads to destructive behavior with dire consequences.
The prodigal son is another example. Impatient, he demanded his inheritance. Immature, he dissipated his wealth. Impetuous, his wayward journey ended in a filthy pig sty.
Yes, he repented. Yes, he came home. Yes, his father hugged him, rejoiced and threw a feast. But there is no word of him recovering his inheritance . . . It was forever gone!
Loss from impatience may be material, but it can also be relational. Many relationships have been ripped to shreds by the gale force of impatience.
Impatience is a deceiver. It tells you that what is wasted today can be reclaimed tomorrow. In reality, impatience is an all-consuming monster devouring both flesh and bones. Its carnivorous appetite has devoured individuals, churches, corporations and even nations.
Patiently plodding God's chosen path is never easy, especially when the path is obscure, becomes mundane, lacks fanfare and feels tiresome. Great endings come, however, to those who endure by the strength of patience.
Years ago a pastor drove me to the town cemetery and pointed to a massive, stone mausoleum. He said, "There are three brothers and a sister lying at rest in that mausoleum. I buried all four. The three brothers made fortunes. Their sister spent her life on a hot, dusty mission field with almost nothing. In life the brothers had it all and she had little. In death she has it all and they have little."
Impatience leads to loss and despair . . . Just ask Esau and the prodigal son. Indeed, it is to our peril that we obey the impulsive promptings of impatience. Impatience must be slain or it will slay us.
Here is a strong encouragement from the Apostle Paul, a man who overcame many reasons to lay his calling down: "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up" (Galatians 6:9).
Immanuel: God is with you!
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