“I therefore, prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:1-3
Back in January when I left for Air Force training, I decided to stop at a burger place on the road. This wasn’t your ordinary burger place; in fact, it was one of my favorites: “Five Guys”. I claimed to be starving, so nothing could stop me from getting a nice, juicy, delicious Five Guys hamburger. If you’ve ever been to Five Guys, you wait in line, place your order, get your drink, then wait for your number to be called. On this particular day, the saying, “God has a sense of humor,” was about to be illustrated.
There were two people directly in front of me, silent and looking at their phones. There was also an older man at the counter who had no idea how to order anything off the menu. It had been over 5 minutes already. “Of course, this is happening Lord when I am desperately hungry,” I said to myself, wondering how much longer it would be. The older man finally finished and the worker behind the counter shouted, “NEXT! NEXT!” The couple in front of me didn’t even respond. Frazzled and hungry, I tapped one of them on the shoulder and said, “It’s your turn.” They smiled and walked up to the counter. I couldn’t believe they didn’t acknowledge the worker, “What’s wrong with them?” I wondered.
Then the Lord slapped me in the face. The couple that was standing in front of me turned out to be a mother and son who were both deaf. They were busy writing down their orders on their phone so that when they got to the counter, they could simply show the worker what they wanted. My heart immediately sank. I felt terrible. I felt like I needed to be banished from civilization because of my rude impatience. I continued to watch them in amazement, both as happy as could be. I finally placed my order, got my drink, and sat down at a table to wait for my meal. One of the workers called out the number “67! 67!” She was baffled when no one approached the counter. The deaf mother and son were also sitting at a table, gleefully eating peanuts as they waited for their food. I walked up, grabbed the bag, told the girl this wasn’t my order yet, and took them their food. They smiled and thanked me in sign-language over and over. After leaving the restaurant with my food, for about the next hour or so in the truck, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had just happened. I couldn’t even enjoy my hamburger! How could I be so impatient and get irritated so quickly?
Whatever life throws at you this week, be PATIENT in everything. Be patient with your responses, your facial expressions, the text or phone call you’re thinking about making, whatever it is – BE PATIENT. Imagine Paul as he’s sitting in prison from Ephesians 4. I’m sure he was impatient, irritated that he was in prison for PREACHING THE GOSPEL. There are all sorts of emotions he could have had, yet, he encourages us to be humble, gentle, patient, and loving – eager to maintain unity with love and peace. Jonah was patient in the belly of a fish for 3 days. Jesus was patient when he was relentlessly tempted by Satan in the wilderness for 40 days and nights. We live in a world that easily teaches IMPATIENCE as an acceptable behavior. The Bible calls us to be loving, genuine, God-fearing and God-serving Christians, not impatient ones. The next time you feel yourself getting flustered over how long your order is taking, be patient and trust in God. Whatever the case may be, He’s teaching you something about yourself. It’s such a blessing that God puts up with us! He shapes and molds us into something better each and every day (if we let Him) because of His Son, Jesus Christ. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” Galatians 5:22-23. Don’t let a hamburger order and a half-empty stomach cause you to forget these wonderful promises!
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.