I spotted this little quote in a daily email I get about inspiring quotes – “Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” (Jean-Jacques Rousseau)
I am not sure that patience is always bitter, but it is always hard. We have become an immediate gratification society and usually don’t have to wait (to have patience) for anything that we want. We get annoyed if it takes more than a day or two to get what we just ordered on-line and whole industries have developed drive-thru service to cater to our need for speed.
Many things, however, can’t be rushed. They require patience. Having a baby still takes almost nine months (sometimes a little more). And then there is the patience required as the child grows up. Building a house is usually a long process, sometimes taking years if the house is big and elegant. Buying a house these days may require a lot of patience and quite a few bids before you actually win one.
Very few people, even ardent believers, get impatient to get on to eternal life. After all, one has first to die to take that next step. However, waiting for eternal life does not have to be bitter either. Life needs to be enjoyed, like a tailgate party before the big game. Life is for meeting people and interacting with them. Viewing life not as an endless wait; but, rather, as a precursor to an eternal life that we cannot yet comprehend just adds to the excitement and anticipation of the wait.
In order to get into that frame of mind, one really has to believe in the outcome, the thing that we are waiting for. Not believing is like encountering a line that you get into without knowing where the line is leading you. All you have is questions about what it is that you are waiting for and that is not very satisfying. In the case of believers, we are in line awaiting “the last day”, the day in which all who believed in Christ are raised from the dead. That is the “Big Game” that we are tailgating for here on earth.
The fruit of your patience will be sweet beyond your understanding. Believe and patiently wait for it.