WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE IT THROUGH THE CHRISTIAN LIFE by Matt Chandler for Core Christianity
It seems that all the creativity of man and all the energy we possess is focused on one thing in our day and age: to eradicate from the face of the earth any need to be patient. We are bent on making sure we don’t have to wait for anything… ever.
And yet the faster things get, the more perpetually impatient we actually are—precisely because we have lost the ability to wait well. I bet that in the last month there has been at least one moment when you were downloading a document, a picture, or something else, and then gave up or grew annoyed because it wasn’t moving fast enough: “This isn’t fast enough. This isn’t happening quickly enough. This is frustrating me.” We’re perpetually impatient these days.
Everything is built for speed, as our technological brilliance focuses in so many ways on us not having to wait. And that hasn’t been good for our souls—because the Christian life calls for patience. Not just the kind of patience that means that we don’t yell at our screen or scream at our spouse or snap at our children. God cares about those things, and he speaks into those things, but God is serious about patience because persevering faith and gladness in God requires it. We Christians are by definition a waiting people, and that requires patience—especially when life brings trials, hardships, or pain.
You Can Wait: Your Father is Coming
Jesus’ brother James wrote to suffering Christians in the first century, “Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7). For two millennia, the church has been waiting for Christ to return and make all things new. For the Christian, history is linear. We are moving toward something—to the day Christ returns and consummates all he accomplished in his cross and his resurrection. Our Father is coming to get us.
I remember playing in the backyard with my youngest two, Reid and Norah, several years ago and throwing the football with Reid. Honestly, I was throwing it at him. It just bounced off. He couldn’t catch well quite yet. We’re tossing the ball in the back, and Norah had snuck off. I lost sight of her. Judge me if you want. It happens. She’s alive.
So I heard this whimper and a cry of “Daaaaad…” I came around the side of the house, and she had climbed up our fence. After she got up there she had apparently enjoyed it for five or six minutes, and then thought, “I don’t know how to get down.”