In tragedy, we feel a whole lot of different negative emotions. We feel angry, for example, very angry, sometimes enraged at our losses. How dare God allow tragedy to happen – to me? After all the faithful service I’ve given him! Sometimes, we’re just mad at our loss. We hate, of course, to give up a precious possession, friend, or our beloved. Whether we feel angry with him, or just plain mad, God is patient. He waits, sometimes adding to our frustration. He waits so we can learn, or so we can do we don’t know what. Why does he wait? Why doesn’t he help my pain? Where is he?
In spite of his mystery, in fact, because of his hiddenness at times, God is able to help transform our tragedy. That one quality about him we feel most ambivalent, may be his patience. On the one hand, he doesn’t give in to our agenda, doing something just because we want it, or want it now. We can feel very frustrated with him. On the other hand, when we do receive an answer to our prayer (long after we’ve given up hope for immediate relief), we usually see wisdom in the wait.
In order to give us time to work through our anger, God in patience waits.