THE GOOD SOIL OF PATIENCE
“And as for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience (ἐν ὑπομονῇ).” (Lk 8: 15) It is not an overnight process, the whole business of “bringing fruit” from the “seed” of God’s word planted in our hearts. It takes time. That’s why it takes “patience,” which is the power to wait. “Patience” in Greek is “ὑπομονή,” meaning, literally, a “remaining behind”; It’s a holding out in wait, to see what God sends next. I need this capacity, this power, simply to wait things out, practically on a daily basis, on the occasions when I don’t know how or whether to react. So, patience is what fills the space of time between being confronted with some “situation” (like unpleasant surprises from people, including myself, or institutions, or whatever), and responding to it appropriately, with God’s help. I take pause and ask God for wisdom. And when I receive no answer, no wisdom? In this case patience allows me to “bring forth fruit” nonetheless. Just like entire generations, throughout Church history, at times have not been able to resolve certain problems and divisions. We have in the past, and we do today, bring forth fruit nonetheless. We have to “hold fast” God’s word “in an honest and good heart,” and bring forth fruit “with patience.” May God give me patience today, in matters large and small. Amen.