I have stopped asking God for patience. I don’t do it anymore. And the reason I don’t do it is that I know that the second I ask God to increase my patience, something is going to happen to test it! I have decided that I would rather ask God for wisdom. There are several benefits to this approach. The first is that God promises to give me wisdom if I ask for it. I would rather have the wisdom to deal with the events of life than patience. I want to be patient. Please don’t misunderstand. I really do. However, I also don’t want to be constantly putting out fires in my life.
The second benefit I want to point out is this, when I ask for wisdom I am asking God to change my perspective. I cannot look at my situation in the same light if how I see it changes. And wisdom will change the way I see things. That is why it is called wisdom. I would say that almost all of the wise people I know have an uncanny ability to see things before they happen. Not that they have some special revelation from God, but that they can think through situations and important decisions so effectively that it’s almost as if God had told them what was coming. One of the bonuses of growing in wisdom is that if God does share something, we will be able to manage that information in a far better way.
Patience is a virtue, but wisdom is a gift. It comes from experience and from reflection. I hope that as I get older I will grow wiser and by extension more patient. I find that Lent is a great opportunity for both to happen. Don’t waste the opportunity to ask God for wisdom and thereby learn how to be patient.