“Have patience with everyone” says St. Francis de Sales “above all with yourself.” I often wonder if De Sales meant be patient with God too. Often when we pray we want God to answer us as soon as we say “Amen.” Whether it is making a foul shot in a basketball game or hearing the doctor say “ You are now cancer free.” We want what we want right away, and God better deliver right away too. We cut God little slack. We mean now only now! But when we think about it, God is eternally patient with us. He is always “cutting us slack.” He waits for us to acknowledge His presence. He waits for us to remember to say “thank You” for all the good He has already done. He waits for us to show Him love for sending His Son to restore our friendship with Him. For certain we give God many reasons to cut us slack. And just as God has learned how to be patient with us, we have to learn to be patient with God-especially when we pray.
If we begin our prayer believing God loves us and wants only our best, then we are off to a good start. Think about it. If what we pray for is for our best, then God will give it to us “ in good time.” i.e. God’s good time. And this takes patience.
This is even truer when we are asking for change-any change. It takes time and patience. We all like shade especially on a hot sunny day. Yet the oak tree we are sitting under today, changed slowly from a tiny acorn until this day when we enjoy its cooling shade. So listen again “Be patient with everyone, but especially with God-“cut God some slack.” For when God does answer we will feel as refreshed as the oak tree’s cooling shade.