Friday, May 13, 2011

Patience For Others

Jesus teaching in the Temple
“and the second one is like unto it, thou

shalt love thy neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:39 (KJV)

“Do unto others as you would have

others do unto you” Golden Rule. Luke 6:31 (KJV)

As we transact our daily business we pass people who look peaceful and seem happy. But are they? Given this economy, they may have someone in their family who is unemployed. They might have a relative who is seriously ill. Or they, themselves, could be without work or have received a bad medical report. Their marriage may be in trouble or their family may be close to homelessness.

We see people in church and we don’t know what’s on their hearts. Our time with them is a few hours a week, during this time our focus is on worship and our relationship with God, as it should be.

When we hear of a friend or relative who experiences times of difficulty and uncertainty, we need to remember when we have had hard times and respond with love and patience. Sometimes all we can do is pray for their need. Other times we can provide acts of solace, a listening ear, a kind word, or a sympathetic heart.

A saying that comes to mind is “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” None of us knows what will happen to us or ours in the future. We may have some difficult lessons to learn before we depart this earth and enter Heaven.

We can all do better about being kind to others. Some ways I have found to show people they are valued are to send a greeting card, be it a get well thought, or a thinking of you note, to someone on my prayer list. When Hubby and I went to see our son, I sent a few post cards-one to a young girl whom I sponsor, another to a cousin who had gone through a very serious health crisis. Just a phone call to ask if a friend had a nice Mother’s Day/any holiday can brighten up another’s day.

If a friend is having a rough time with life, we need to remember to be kind, friendly, and patient with them because next week or next month we might be the one needing someone to listen to us, to help us through a difficulty.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Patience Helps Us Find Answers

Nehemiah and his workers rebuild the wall

“May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

2 Thess. 3:5 (NIV)

“And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.”

2 Thess. 3:5 (KJV)

We learn patience through our trust in God and through remaining true to Christ. He loves us as we are but wants us to grow in Him. In his wisdom, He provides avenues that foster our growth.

I recently had a need to black-out the windows of the sanctuary of our church. The Easter drama I had written called for the area to be completely dark except for the staging area. Our pastor had seen something at one of our sister churches that would do the task and sounded neat but would require an outlay of funds and the talents of a seamstress. My main concern was for the expense of these curtains. One of the leaders of our drama ministry though we could keep it simple and use plastic trash bags.

One day about seven weeks before Easter, I received a phone call from one of the church custodians. Here’s how the conversation went.

“We understand you want to black out the windows of the sanctuary for your Easter drama.”

“Uh, yes.” (I didn’t know where this was going.)

“Well, the church already has something to do that.”

“We do?” (I was excited.)

“Yes, we found them when we moved into the building. We had to figure out what they were but they fit nicely. We use some of them at Christmas to hang some of the decorations over a window on each side of the sanctuary.”

A couple of weeks later, I met him at the church and he showed me how they fit in and where they kept them. The next practice I used three of them to blacken windows on one side of the room so the cast and crew could see the effect.

The Lord told me at one point in my life I worried too much. I have learned to wait patiently for Him to work out issues in my life, this black-out panel issue being among the latest ones. I am so thankful God taught me to wait for Him to work.

Monday, May 9, 2011

So We Might Have Hope

Hannah Prayed for a Son. Her hope was in God.

“For everything that was written in the past was written

to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement

of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Rom 15:4 (NIV)

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime

were written for our learning, that we through patience and

comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Rom 15:4 (KJV)

As children of God, we need to learn about Him and His promises to those who believe. He gives us His Word so we can discover His plan for our lives. When we feel defeated by circumstances of life, we can go to scripture and find guidance, comfort, or encouragement to aid our return to the place we need to be.

We all have stories to tell to our children about times gone by. The family history things become important as we mature. In my collection of tales are some I hold in reserve to tell on our son.

God, also, has stories to relate to us. He commissioned different prophets and apostles to reduce them to paper for future peoples to learn their heritage. I find it amazing that God inspired the Bible so long ago; while it is still relevant in the 21st Century after His Son’s birth. But isn’t that like Him?

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...