We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. (NLT)
When we think of being patient, we often associate it with waiting for a delayed bus, or grimly hanging on as we get over a cold. We think of patience as merely enduring some uncomfortable situation.
But patience is not always inactive. When we exercise patience we are accepting an invitation to be fully present in the present situation however unsettling it might appear to be. When we are impatient, we try to get away from where we are, believing that our real life is somewhere in the future.
In fact, the future does not as yet exist. Our only true life is where we are here and now. This is the only place where our God meets us. It might not be pleasant, it might not be where we wish to be, things might improve out of sight tomorrow or the next day. But being impatient for that tomorrow means we may miss out on what God is doing for us and through us today.
Patience is more than grim endurance. It is actively seeking out the movements and presence of God where and when we are. We don’t wait for what God is going to do tomorrow, we look for what he is doing today. In the words of Henri Nouwen, we are to be patient and trust that the treasure we look for is hidden in the ground on which we presently stand.