We have heard and read this for the nth time. And it remains to be so. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE.
Lately, I have been struggling with this in certain situations in my life, while waiting for the result of a job application, or an appointment with the doctor, dealing with the children or whatever random thing.
What can be more difficult than managing one’s temper and maintaining one’s composure despite all the odds? When we are in certain situations, we sometimes cannot help but let the saints’ quotes get thrown out of the window or let the Word of God as the seeds fall among the thorns as a result of being crowded by the worries of this life (Matthew 13:22). The saints were able to acquire this virtue, by their free will and the grace of God. I am convinced that we cannot be like them or go straight to heaven without this virtue. So if you have mastered this, then good for you and bless you indeed!
Recently, the Gospel readings have been about the kingdom of God and the one about the tiny mustard seed has always made an impact on me (Matthew 13:31-32).
Years ago, a lady who used to do the laundry for us came and planted a small and young calamansi plant in our garden. There had been many times when we thought it would die because all the leaves would always get eaten by caterpillars. Eventually, it grew and became a full grown tree with so many leaves, but it did not bear fruit. My mother was getting impatient and wanted to have it cut off. She suggested we buy a small one with fruits already. We did buy one but I did not want to have the tree cut off. I knew it would bear fruit anytime soon.
Indeed, one day while I was looking outside through my bedroom window, I gasped at the ten big fruits that I saw! It had taken about five years or so before it finally started bearing fruit. But what great joy to finally witness this and actually taste the fruits. And this tree has been bearing many fruits up to this very day.
Can you imagine how patient God is with us? Oftentimes, we are like the Israelites who complain endlessly during their journey in the desert. Personally, I can very much relate with the grumbling Israelites.
There are instances that what we want does not match what God wants or plans for us. We can get our horses ready, but it is God who gives victory (Prov 21:31).
If God is patient with us, then we need to be patient with others too. As parents, we see our children grow. We keep this fervent hope that the good seeds we planted, despite our being imperfect gardeners, would grow the way God wanted them to. Sometimes, our hope gets trampled upon or gets choked. Perhaps, we see them now as young plants or a full grown tree without fruits and we wonder what will become of them in this godless society, which we have no control of. We only have our home and our love as their nest for a period of time.
We can only do so much. But God can do more. We must keep the faith that God will not allow our good intentions and seemingly fruitless efforts to go to waste. God has always been reliable throughout the centuries and He does not change.
Let us continue praying for our children and showering them with all our love – and patience – and continue planting and nurturing the Word of God in their hearts – and ours as well. Certainly, God is on our side and He will make these seeds bear fruit in His Own Perfect Time.
To God be the Glory!