Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient bearing with one another in love.
While imprisoned around 60AD, Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus about the conduct of a believer. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” The dictionary defines patience as calm, endurance of a trying, tedious or annoying situation. I experienced an annoying situation today.
I arrived on time for a five-minute lab test at my doctor’s office. Ten other impatient patients sat quietly at first, but people became anxious as the clock ticked and nothing happened.
“I have to get back to work,” one complained.
“This is ridiculous. Why set a time for an appointment and not keep it?” another said aloud.
“I’m going home. I don’t have all day,” said one.
“The receptionists are doing nothing but talking don’t they know we’re waiting?” complained another.
Slowly the assistant called one name at a time. When people entered the office after me were called, my legs twitched, my heart rate increased, and I felt ready to explode. I struggled out of my seat, walked to the desk, ready for battle. “Have I been forgotten?”
The receptionist looked up and left the room.
I huffed and composed a nasty letter in my head, but the song Silence is Golden played there instead.
A lab assistant opened a door and called my name. “We were training,” she said unapologetically. Five minutes later, the procedure ended, and I drove home fuming.
Patience is a virtue. Getting angry or seeking revenge through a nasty latter would not help the situation. I thought of Proverbs 15:18: A hot-tempered man (or woman) stirs up strife, but he (or she) who is slow to anger quiets contention. Patience, my girl, patience.
Have you found yourself in a similar situation? What do you do? Do you yell, scream, and have a temper tantrum? Do you leave the situation feeling upset? Do you sigh and sit quietly but fume inside? What would Jesus do?
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in love, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, for these health care workers today. There is much stress, fear, and sickness we have no control over in today’s world. Bless them in their training and help me to maintain an understanding and remain patient when things, people, and circumstances are more annoying than usual.