Passing Patience

(Today’s prompt at Five Minute Friday is PATIENT. Here is my free write contribution.)

My husband fails the Marshmallow Test.

If you’re not familiar with it, the Marshmallow Test was designed by psychologists to test kids’ patience. The child is told they can have one marshmallow now or, if they wait a little while, they can have two. Obviously, in this experiment, patience is rewarded. It seems so simple, so childish, and yet, how many of us would pass the Marshmallow Tests in life?

I tease my husband because as soon as there’s a problem, he wants to solve it. As soon as he started learning how to play guitar, he wanted to master it. As soon as he wants to make a banana bread and there’s not enough walnuts, he needs to replenish the supply NOW, NOW, NOW!

(I must interject here and admit that it is this same impatience that has spurred the repair of countless broken things in this house over the past 20 years, and, although he gave up on learning guitar, my dear husband makes a rocking banana bread!)

Although we are grown ups, sometimes we forget we can’t always get what we want when we want it. Some things take time. Look at the way patience rewards us in the world around us. A child in the womb. Enduring love. Even the rising of bread is a lesson in patience.

We don’t want to endure suffering. We don’t want to see those we love suffer. We want to avoid it. And when we can’t avoid it, we want to get through it as quickly as possible. But look to the cross. For our sake, Jesus endured the cross. I don’t know about you, but every year as I remember the Passion of Christ on this day, Good Friday, it seems like the longest day. Reading about and meditating on Jesus’ suffering, crucifixion and death, although important to me as a Christian, can be draining. But knowing it was the Father’s will and the fulfillment of the Scriptures, Jesus didn’t avoid it. He rose again, but it took three days.

Why did it take him so long?

When Jesus walked the earth healing people, why did he let his friend Lazarus die only to bring him back to life four days later?

Why did it take him so long?

Maybe there’s a bigger lesson here. Maybe God wants us to trust him more and believe that he will do what’s best for us. Maybe it’s about more than satisfying our sweet tooth and passing fancies. Perhaps his goal is to grow our character. And strengthen our hope.

In his time.

“. . .suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love, into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”~Romans 5:3-5

About Amy Nicholson

A busy wife and mother pausing to ponder the beauty and complexity of life and share it with words.
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2 Responses to Passing Patience

  1. Amie says:

    Yes, the Marshmallow Test! I learned so much about myself when I read that book a few years ago. My husband, too, lacks patience, but it is often endearing. He nearly comes out of his skin in the days and weeks leading up to Christmas; he wants to give me gifts as soon as he buys them. However, waiting until Christmas morning makes it so much more special. And, so, I think that is the lesson in patience. When things happen in the time they are supposed to, they are everything they are supposed to be.


  2. Sandra K Stein says:

    I totally relate to your husband, LOL.


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