What is the perfect work of patience?

“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:4 KJV

I guess this verse answers the above question. Perfect and entire, wanting nothing. Other translations word it like this:

NIV “mature, complete, not lacking anything”
The Message “mature, well-developed, not deficient in any way
NLT “perfect and complete, needing nothing”
In other words, being patient in whatever situation you find yourself in, accomplishes good things; amazing things. But man, is it hard.

I just need to process some personal stuff here today, so I hope you don’t mind. You are going to see the real me here….the unfinished work, the doubting Thomas, the Saul of the Old Testament who had an issue with needing instant gratification, the Peter who got out of the boat but then freaked out and sank till Jesus saved him. But, hopefully before the end of the post, you will see the Darla who writes the blog, has great faith and is inspired and has a clear vision.

I have been waiting for something for decades (not going to get specific, sorry). 16 years ago it seemed to be coming to me, but after waiting 9 years, I realized that dream was never going to come true.

I’m in the waiting zone again now and it is WELL WORTH waiting for. I have no choice but to wait but HOW I wait is the issue I need help with. A dear friend has encouraged me to just trust the Lord in all things; to wait upon the Lord to open and shut doors all according to His will. (Excellent advice; perfect advice actually) As we all likely know, the Lord’s timing is seldom ours so a day can feel like a thousand years. It feels like I’ve spent so much of my life waiting and there must be a reason. Hence, that is why I keep coming back to that verse in James 1:4; what patience in waiting can produce.

But, how exactly does that happen? How can being patient result in me not lacking anything? Or not needing anything or wanting anything. It also says that being patient will make me perfect, complete, and mature.

Which then brings me to the question: Do I want what I want more than I want my character refined? Will what I want make me perfect, complete and mature like being patient will? Or can these two issues even be separated? Will they perfectly complement one another instead? Will truly surrendering to the process at hand (the very thing I need patience in and for) fill me up to the extent that when the fulfillment of all I’ve been waiting for actually comes to pass, I will already be perfect, complete and needing nothing? Would I then bring that completion, that wholeness into the experience instead of expecting the experience or that person to produce it? I am then free to simply love, move and enjoy the fulfillment of all I’ve been waiting for!

I have learned already that kicking against the process, being impatient and letting my emotions control me, only causes me and others pain.

There are so many situations where life is going to require patience. From being in traffic to waiting for something to happen in a relationship or a piece of life’s puzzle to finally fall into place. For a dream to come true. For healing to take place.

The song keeps going through my head, “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.” Waiting upon the Lord to speak, direct, move, instruct, inspire, and reveal. Waiting for Him; focusing more on this more than waiting on someone else or something else to happen. Waiting for someone else or something else will only disappoint and bring frustrations for all involved. Waiting upon the Lord will give me strength to be patient. I don’t have to do any of this alone. Praise Him for that. Once again I concede: trust the process.


5 thoughts on “What is the perfect work of patience?

  1. I have been thinking about the words in Isaiah lately and they have been an encouragement to me…
    The Lord says….My thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are My Ways ,your ways …
    Sometimes we are just not READY for what WE want so this is why we have to wait until we are “mature” enough to handle it
    I have to be satisfied with whatever The Lord chooses,knowing that He KNOWS best!


  2. Many years ago I had a dream. I was just a child and was playing in a huge garden. I came upon a profusion of rosebuds in all colors imaginable. All around them the other flowers were in full bloom and some quite huge. I began to try to open the perfect little rosebuds. One-by-one I tore them open until I had destroyed them all! About that time my dear Grandmother came upon me and wept when she saw what I had done. She loved flowers so much. Without saying anything she took my hand and led me out of the beautiful garden through a barnyard and into an old dump. There among the rusting and stinking piles was one fully developed and incredibly gorgeous blood red rose. She then said, “In just three more days the others would have looked like this, but now, they never will”! I woke up with a heavy heart. A few days later, as I was meditating, that strange dream came to my memory. That still small voice came to me saying, “Patience, my son”.


  3. I too have been waiting & praying earnestly many years for a special dream to come true which is well worth the waiting. But, oh, how difficult it is to have the needed patience to just trust God for completing His perfect work in His time and in His way.

    Was it Bill Gaither that wrote that beautiful song sung by Karen Peck: “He’s Four Days Late”?
    It’s a song that has been like a balm to my impatient spirit so many times. In part, it says:
    “He’s four days late and all hope is gone
    Lord, we don’t understand why you waited so long.”
    “But His way is God’s way; not yours or mine
    And isn’t it great when He’s four days late, He’s still on time!”

    “You may be fighting a battle of fear;
    You cry to the Lord ‘I need You’, but he has not appeared.
    Friend, don’t be discouraged, ’cause He’s still the same
    He’ll soon be here; He’ll roll back the stone, and He’ll call out your name!”

    “And isn’t it great when He’s four days late, He’s still on time!”
    I guess if I could orchestrate and make real one of the deepest desires of my heart in my own time and way, then it would no doubt be a pretty botched up mess. Lord, help me to have the faith, trust, and patience for You to complete your work in my life.


  4. Darla! This is a beautiful post, and I know in some way, there will be MANY readers who fit into this category….. Each with our own varying areas of waiting. But what I love about it is, that we are reading this BEFORE the final picture!

    In the scriptures, we could name many who waited… Some of whom most likely hardly knew what they were waiting for, except that the Lord would step in and change their situations… And we always read their ending, and we enter in to their waiting being well worth it!
    We read their stories over and over, KNOWING how it ended, which I feel takes away some of the learning in it for us.

    However, here we read of someone still waiting, yet no ending in sight yet!! That is why this is such a beautiful expression.
    Many thanks for your encouragement.


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