God helps those who learn patience, perseverance

Patricia Holbrook is a Bible teacher, writer, speaker and frequent contributor to our Faith & Values page. She lives in Kennesaw. You can learn how to get involved with Operation Christmas Child on her blog at www.soaringwithhim.com or email her at pholbrook@soaringwithhim.com.

“I’m going to Michael Bublé’s concert tomorrow night.”

By the look on my face, my friend knew that I had no idea of who she was talking about. Later on, I decided that I must be living in a different planet: I was probably the only girl who had never heard of the famous Canadian singer.

When I got home later that evening, I decided to do some research and find out exactly how Michael became a world sensation overnight. So, I googled his name. In an instant, Wikipedia provided detailed information about his life. Before starting to learn about him, I was almost aggravated by the fact that this guy came out of nowhere and became an instant success. Then I found out that there is absolutely nothing instant about his career.

Bublé has been working hard and waited for a break for many years. He’s not an overnight success. He had to wait for almost 20 years before his name became a pop-music sensation. And although I don’t know the guy, a quick look at his life makes me think that he is another classic case of an irresistibly powerful combination for success: patience and perseverance. These two traits are becoming very rare these days.

We look at famous people around us and almost resent their apparent quick path to fame. But the truth of the matter is that not many truly talented artists, writers or people of prominence get to the top without much hard work, failure, perseverance and patience.

We live in the “Bibbi-de-bob-adee-boo” society. We all wish to become Cinderellas at the wave of a magic wand. We want to finish college and become the CEO of the company in a year. We decide to start a blog today and hope to have 1 million followers in a month. We wish to lose 30 pounds in two weeks. Bibbi-de-bob-adee-boo!

That’s why so many of us become discouraged with God.

God is not partial to instant gratification. Unlike us, he knows exactly when we are ready to receive our promises and dreams. The waiting process is designed to be a growth process. There are flaws in our character that will only be remedied if we are exposed to trials, failures and much perseverance. If God gives us a vision or promise, we must grab a hold of the fact that we cannot become great at whatever we are called to do unless we allow circumstances to develop our character, chipping away imperfections and preparing us for success.

So here is to all of us who have been faithfully waiting for our promise lands, whatever they are: It may be that job that you are yet to be offered. Or the book deal that is yet to come. It may be the prince who seems to have lost his way to the castle, or the credit card balance that is far from being paid off.

We must remind ourselves that without trials, patience and perseverance, success is unmerited. Cinderellas lose their shoes at midnight and return home in rags and barefooted. And as anxious as I sometimes get to reach my goals and see my dreams come true, I know I’ll be rewarded for learning my lessons along the way in order to build a solid castle, one stone at a time.

God is still working. Whatever you do, don’t ever give up. Remember those who, with faith, perseverance and patience, inherited their dreams. Many are witnesses that God helps those who patiently wait and work diligently to reach their goals.