So Jacob worked seven years to pay for Rachel. But his love for her was so strong that it seemed to him but a few days. Genesis 29:20 NLT
“It will be about a twenty-minute wait.”
The greeter’s words made no sense. Numerous tables were vacant. Knowing the couple with us wanted to eat at this restaurant, I said nothing. Had they not been along, I would have left.
Sure enough, the wait was twenty minutes. I figured out the reason. They were short on help. Cooks were serving food and managers were waiting tables.
Drinks came along ten minutes after we ordered them. Salads appeared twenty-five minutes later. The food arrived after enduring forty-five minutes of hunger pains. Had I been in a hurry, I would have been livid and questioned our waitress.
I persevered. After two hours, we walked out. Although the food was delicious, I was thoroughly disgusted with the service. Unless someone we’re eating with wants to dine there, I doubt I will patronize this restaurant again.
My wife always tells me not to complain about the food or service. “They might spit in your food,” she says. A disgusting thought, but one that helps me with patience. Jacob needed a good dose of it as well. He had worked seven years for his uncle’s daughter’s hand in marriage. But Rachel wasn’t the oldest, so when the marriage took place, Laban snuck in the oldest daughter, Leah. Jacob didn’t discover the trick until the next morning. To get the girl he wanted, he had to work another seven years.
I’ve learned restaurants are good places to teach me patience. There’s really nothing constructive I can do to improve the quality of service or the food I’m served. Complaining might help the matter that day, but a return trip might get me a similar—or even worse—experience. The time I have to wait and any interaction I have with the servers or managers helps me develop patience. I can get worked up, walk out, or wait. How I handle the situation says a lot about me and my character.
Developing patience takes time, involves putting up with some things I’d rather not endure, and requires a bunch of mini prayers for God to either help me keep my mouth shut or to monitor what I say and how I say it.
Ask God to help you develop patience. Through experiences at a restaurant, relationships, at your place of employment, and in numerous other ways, He’s a master.
Tweetable: How's your patience level?
Prayer: Father, teach us to be as patient with others as You are with us.