Nearly everyday, I hear this echoed throughout our home, uttered by various family members and directed toward me. Why am I so impatient with others, even myself? Although certainly not justifiable, I will rationalize why I grow frustrated with others, since they are not living up to my expectations, but what about for myself? How can I be impatient with myself? How can I not live up to my expectations? Surely impatience with myself is justifiable? After all, what is wrong with desiring to be better, to improve oneself?
Jesus answered, “O faithless and twisted generation, how long am I to be with you and bear with you? Bring your son here.”
Luke 9:41 (ESV)
The Bible often speaks of the patience of God. Thus the rare examples of Jesus seemingly acting impatiently, vividly stand out. Why did Jesus exhibit impatience with His disciples? The setting for this searing indictment is an incident when a distraught father came to Jesus, pleading with Him to heal his son, possessed by demons. He claimed that he asked Jesus’ disciples to heal his son but they were unable. While Jesus’ answer seems harsh, it is instructive and a stern reminder of where our true faith should be rooted. The disciples assumed that this was similar to other demon possessions they had successfully healed. They had grown complacent and overconfident in their abilities, relying upon their past experiences and expectations, rather than seeking faith in God through Jesus Christ.
God is love. God is kind. God is patient.
I am selfish. I am rude. I am impatient.
I am all these and more and it is because of my sinful nature. I expect the world to revolve around my priorities for my convenience. I mistakenly believe that because a situation successfully resolved in the past, it should always follow a similar solution. But this is not what Jesus is teaching and it highlights my arrogance and misguided expectations about God and not relying upon my faith in Him. The seeming impatience of God is not because of any fault of God, it solely rests upon my unbelief and deliberate misinterpretation of His teachings and promises. When I am impatient with others or myself it is because I am relying only upon my prior expectations. It is a glaring reminder how I do not trust God and further evidence that my faith in Him is weak and anemic.
Thanks be to God for His everlasting mercy and grace to me through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.