"With their patience worn out by the journey..." —Numbers 21:4
We human beings live in the domain of time. God, Who is eternal, is outside of time. So obviously we don't view time as God does (see 2 Pt 3:8).
Jesus is the Redeemer of all things, and so is the Redeemer of time. We know that our Redeemer lives (Jb 19:25, KJV), and is actively making time serve His purposes obediently. If all time is under the lordship of Jesus, its Redeemer, and we are also under His lordship, then it logically follows that there is no need for us to be impatient. Logically, we know that "there is an appointed time for everything" (Eccl 3:1) and that Jesus, the Redeemer of time, "has made everything appropriate to its time" (Eccl 3:11).
Since time always serves God, the problems with timing arise when we are struggling to accept Jesus' lordship over us. We grow impatient, complain (Nm 21:5), and get frustrated when things happen too fast or too slow for our liking. At the root of this impatience lies a battle over control of time between us and God, the Lord of time. Thus, impatience can be a seed of discontent, which leads to outright rebellion against God (Nm 21:5).
God's antidote for impatience is for us to beg the Lord for an increase of love, which is patient (1 Cor 13:4), and of docility to the Holy Spirit, for patience is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22). Another way to grow in patience is to do what God required of the impatient Israelites: gaze regularly on the crucified Jesus (see Nm 21:9; Jn 3:14). Grow in patience. Trust the Lord, the God of time (see Ps 62:9).
Prayer: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall be ever in my mouth" (Ps 34:2).
Promise: "You will surely die in your sins unless you come to believe that I AM." —Jn 8:24
Praise: Gloria takes time out every day to read Scripture and pray.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Giles H. Pater, August 18 8, 2004
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 23, 2004