As I entered the bank and noted the long line, I thought, "Oh well, I'm not in a hurry today." Looking ahead, I saw a grey-haired lady entering the bank from the other side. I could not help but notice that when she saw me, she picked up her pace considerably to ensure that she would be ahead of me in the bank line.
As it turned out, for me, the wait was made more bearable by this woman's antics. Every couple of minutes, she sighed loudly enough for everyone in the bank to hear. Her level of angst intensified as she continually shifted from foot to foot, moving ahead and then backing up in the line's limited space. Then began the verbal bemoaning of the ridiculous amount of time the transactions were taking.
Eventually, the lady in line in front of her, who walked with a cane and was actually leaning on the cane as she waited, offered to let this woman go ahead of her to the next available teller. I chuckled to myself. I was not laughing at her. No, I was laughing at myself. I wondered, "Is this how God sees me?"
Proverbs 16:32 – Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city. (NIV 2011)
This verse from Proverbs is quite astounding to me when I consider how God sees a patient person. In an era when territory was won through the valour of warriors, it is noted that patience is a better virtue than securing an entire city!
Patience has long been a virtue which has eluded me. While there are times when I manage to relax instead of being impatient, I know that patience is still something on which I must work.
I've heard that God has a sense of humour. Well, if so, I think that He must have sent me this woman today to make a point in His humorous way concerning my lack of patience.
Daniel 4:3 – How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. (NIV)
This verse reminds us that, as children of God, we have an eternity to look forward to in heaven. So how important can a few minutes of waiting in line at a bank possibly be in view of the rest of our lives? How significant is our earthly rushing and tearing around to make up a few measly minutes?
While my initial reaction to this incident at the bank was mirth, my secondary reaction was shame. This verse came to mind:
Psalm 73:21-22a – Thus my heart was grieved, and I was vexed in my mind. I was so foolish and ignorant. (NKJV)
How often have I reacted like this impatient woman? How often have you? How often have we been arrogant and self-important? And yet, how forgiving and wonderfully patient is God our Father with His impetuous, impatient children?
May we desire today to be more like Him!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for all the ways in which You remind us of our weaknesses. Sometimes, You send specific Scripture passages, and sometimes, You send events or people to speak to us. Even in the midst of the mundane activities of earthly life, like standing in line at a bank, You speak to us. When we become restless and impatient, remind us that our life on earth is but a moment in time compared to our eternity with You. Amen.
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