Chorus-pondence from Gene LeVasseur
“Patience.” Most definitions look like this: “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.” I’m pretty sure that we are good at accepting and tolerating, it’s that last part, “without getting angry or upset,” that is the real challenge. The Bible mentions patience often, and throughout our lives our patience is tested: in pre-school, children learn the concept of waiting in line; as we grow older, the time required to wait seems to get longer, and our patience grows shorter.
Time has become so “precious” that waiting has become even more frustrating. I do not enjoy going out to eat because of the cost and having to wait to be seated, wait to place our order, wait for our food, and wait for our check. The server is not the waiter, we are! The patience required for these situations in our world certainly is most challenging.
We need patience when we face difficulty, disappointment, disapproval, and disaster. No one in the Bible modeled patience better than Job. Perhaps that is why it was common for my grandmother to say “have the patience of Job” when someone got angry. Job’s life is destroyed in five short verses: he loses all of his livestock, servants, and children, and is then covered in boils from head to toe. Job’s wife suggests he curse God and kill himself, and his friends tell him his suffering is due to his sins. Job remains faithful to God and is restored to twice as much as before. Job wasn’t perfect, but he was patient.
Yesterday I visited one of our OSL members in the hospital and as I was leaving I was thinking “he has the patience of Job”. He has been suffering for months and has months of recovery so he will be continuously challenged to be patient when he begins to feel angry and/or upset. I remember praying for my mother for over a year while she battled leukemia and never seeing her angry or upset: the patience of Job. I remember waiting four years for a prayer to be answered—ultimately, not the way I had hoped, and not having the patience of Job.
I see patience and peace every week at Our Savior’s—hundreds of people who love God, love people, and serve joyfully with patience and peace. This doesn’t come naturally, this comes from God through the living Word and prayer. I use the word “ACTS” when I pray: Adoration; Tell God I love him; Confess honestly; Thanks for everything and everyone; Supplication—asking in Jesus’ name and according to his will.
Dear Lord, I love you, your Word and your presence in my life. I’m sorry for the times I grumble or groan when I face challenges. Thank you for my church family, which inspires me to do better. Please bless our church with continual growth in patience and peace in the world.
I’d like to end with a quote from the great theologian, Master Oogway: “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. That is why they call it the present.” God bless all of your todays!