Archimandrite Andrew (Konanos): Be Patient As Much As God is Patient with Us

If you are not patient, you may take wrong action.

God waited for the time when He could take human flesh on Himself. I was impressed by the words of Saint Isaac the Syrian, where the elder argues that the Lord was incarnated not just to forgive our sins, but mainly to show how much He loves us.

He was incarnated because of love. He could forgive our sins anyway, with His Divinity. After all, He is God, He does what He wants. He can forgive with His word, His wish. Who can resist God’s will? It is not the problem. According to Saint Isaac’s words, He wanted to become like us so much that He was incarnated. He wanted to join us and took human flesh on Himself because of unlimited love. I am a human, He also became a human. For so many centuries God in patience kept this infinite love in Himself. Ever since He created man, He had been waiting for the right time for incarnation. God Himself was patient. When God was born, He displayed patience again. He waited silently. Although from the age of twelve He could impress the audience with His word, He waited until He was thirty to go to synagogue and come out from the unknown to public service, to develop His cause, to preach, and to do miracles.

Learn how to be patient. That is what we are talking about today. Be patient as much as God is patient with us. If you are not patient, you may take wrong action. I am sure that you have experienced this in some instances. A person, who does everything in a rushed way, acts incorrectly, makes many mistakes, because their thoughts are scattered. They must take the lesson of patience again.

You should wait as the Lord waited. The Lord was also waiting for Judas. Three years of patience. God was also waiting for the Holy Apostles, but especially Judas. He was waiting for three years for him to change, to repent. He gave him a lot of chances, we do not know how many, but certainly a lot. He waited, looked at him with love, and waited again. He waited until He saw that Judas will not change. One evening he went to seize the Lord with lighted lanterns and sticks, with Roman guards. However, the Lord was waiting for him. He was waiting to kiss him with love, not to give him a treacherous kiss. They say, if Judas went to Christ Crucified on the Cross, God would have said to him again, “You came? I was waiting for you”. Judas would have said, “But, Lord, I have betrayed You. I denied You. I led them here to crucify You. I am the reason that led You to the Cross, I helped them find and bind You”. The Savior would have answered, “Judas, I have loved you to this hour and waited for you patiently. And now if you repent, I will forgive you”. He would have given him courage. He would not have taken away such hope from him. He would never have given him an opportunity to lose faith in power of repentance. But Judas did not come to the Cross. Do you know why? Because he had no patience. Only regret arose inside him, but for repentance to come it was necessary to show patience. Yet there was none. Judas fell into panic, selfishness, became agitated, did not set hopes on God or believe in power of repentance and Christ’s love. Due to being desperate, impatient, not having waited enough for God’s grace, which could have changed him, he went and ended his life. This life and the other one.

We need patience. It takes time for planted seed to blossom, it is the only way it will bear fruit. Whoever you are, you constantly plant seeds around you. Be sure that your seed will bear fruit. What you sow will surely grow. Yet we also have to wait for the blossoming of seeds. It will not happen instantly. What you say to your child today will leave a trace. You will not see a miracle in five minutes, but it is possible, of course. It is obvious that God can show you a quick and sudden change as soon as you say the words. Yet, as always, to keep all of us in patience and humility, for us to learn to hope for His help and protection, He says, “Wait. You said it well. Did you say something nice to your child? Do not worry, it will not go away. You will see”. Teach your child by your own example. At times like this you sow seeds in their heart, but you have to wait for these seeds to come up.

From the book “Love Forever” by Father Andrew (Konanos)

Translated by Julia Frolova

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