But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be (people) perfectly and fully developed (with no defects) lacking in nothing. James 1: 4 Amplified

 

 

I 

 

Do you need patience in paradise? I did, late one morning, on our recent trip to Hawaii.

I was, in fact, ready to scream. For there, in front of us, was a line of cars as far as I could see. Stopped. No one was going anywhere–least of all, me.

All I wanted to do was go to the beach. I had been aching to go all morning, in fact.

It reminded me of those summers of my childhood when we were—theoretically—on vacation at my grandmother’s house on Long Island. The object of our trip was to go to a beach on the south shore where my grandparents had a membership.

The beach was my family’s only “happy place”—the one time when everyone, even the adults, could relax and have fun. All I longed to do was get there but I had to wait—forever, it seemed–while my father took and made endless phonecalls, my mother made her perfect lunches, my grandmother did her interminable ironing.

I would go nearly crazy with impatience.

This morning, I’d waited for the weather to clear, for my husband to read and respond to his emails, get himself ready. Suddenly, I was eight years old again, holding the lid on my temper with both hands.

Now, after we finally got launched, we hit this infernal traffic jam.

The island’s fragile infrastructure has been strained to overflowing with the press of tourists crowded together by the closure of the north shore due to April’s flooding. With the need to rebuild the roads and bridges, plus necessary scheduled maintenance in this ocean and jungle climate, road crews are doing something somewhere close to 24 hours a day.

Including the time I wanted to go to the beach.

A little understanding, please.

And a little remembering the lesson I thought I learned well years ago: impatience is a form of pride. It says, “I’m so important I can’t wait for anything. My schedule, my plan come first; everyone and everything else needs to stand aside.”

Uh-oh. Got me. Apparently, I needed a refresher course in humility. Time for my patience muscle to get a little more stretching.

God loves me. True. Like any good parent, He delights in seeing me happy. He will give me what I need and want in His good time. But more than that, He wants me to grow up—to be “perfectly and fully developed…lacking in nothing.”

So patience must have its thorough work.

Okay. Got it. Again.

And you know what? We went to the beach, after all. And it was fine.