A Message from the Pastor
As the story goes, a young man asked his pastor to pray for him to be a more patient person, especially with regards to his young children and aging parents. The pastor knelt and began praying, “Lord, send this young man tribulation in the morning; send him tribulation in the afternoon; send him…” At this point, the man blurted out, “No, no, I didn’t ask you to pray for tribulation. I wanted you to pray for patience.” “Ah,” responded the pastor, “it’s through tribulation that we learn patience.”
Indeed, St. Paul affirmed this many times in his Epistles, but the reality is; when most of us pray for patience in the face of problems, it often goes something like, “Lord, give me patience, and give it to me now!”
Now, although I don’t know the day of our Lord’s return, I do know that he will return some day, but in the meantime, we must wait, allowing God to shape and use us, to advance the message of Jesus Christ within our homes and our community while we still have breath in our lungs.
Consider the farmer who plants his seeds. He knows that he is going to have a long wait until he will get to see the fruit of his labor, and that he is also totally dependent upon the Good Lord to send both rain and sunshine upon the earth for the growth of his crop.
Now, of course, the farmer doesn’t have to wait more than a couple of weeks to see produce sprout from the ground. But, what would you think of the farmer who lost his patience and harvested his crops after just a few weeks of growth? Would he have anything to eat or sell? Of course, not, he needs to wait until the plants reach their full maturity. He has to wait until the process of growth is complete, if he harvests his crop too early, he will ruin it. I don’t have to tell many of you that a farmer must be patient.
Now, let us consider parenting, which takes years of hard work caring for children and instilling in them what is right and what is wrong in the sight of God. It takes time and effort ensuring that they have the Word of God so that they can become mature Christians in the one true faith. As parents, we want trees, not flowers. Think about it, flowers spring up overnight and are destroyed with the first frost. Trees take decades to grow, but they can withstand the winds of a hurricane. A Christian firmly established in the truth of the Gospel, will be like a Cedar tree in times of trouble, firmly rooted, and not easily toppled. But it takes time.
The Scriptures tell us that patience in our problems and weaknesses produces strength within us, while at the same time shows our need and total dependence our God. When we have pain, stress, and other problems in life, these situations should push us to seek God, and amid them, and remind us of the pain and suffering our Lord endured to give us access to eternal paradise.
As Christians, we look forward to the end of our earthly work. It is being in the presence of the Lord that we are anticipating because he is going to remove all the results of the curse of sin. There will be no more cancer, no more dying, no more crying, no more separation. The word goodbye will have to be removed from our vocabulary. We will never be tempted to sin ever again.
So, knowing what our futures hold, I think we can wait patiently, and endure whatever our fallen world throws our way, not letting situations and events to throw us into despair.
Therefore, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
Until next month….