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Patience is a virtue
pastor corner

Dr. Lawrence Butler

The Bridge Church, Pembroke

Patience. Probably not many 6-year-olds can give you a textbook definition of that big word. Many cannot even spell it. Not so sure I could as I stood beside the street that day. 

My older brother was on a mission for our mother and I trailed along with him. We waited and waited for the traffic to clear so we could cross the busy street, but the cars didn’t cooperate that day. One lane cleared out and boldly I purposed to run across. Clearly at the time I hadn’t really learned that concept about looking both ways. Speed was no problem for me since I was really fast, or at least I thought so. I cleared the first lane but had a little trouble with a huge vehicle in the second lane of traffic. A large chrome bumper and I met body to body in the middle of the lane, and I came out the worst for the collision. Spinning while being knocked across the street was a lot less fun than riding the tilt-a-world at the local fair I’m sure. Calling to my brother and then passing out was my last memory.

A better opportunity was coming for me, but I just couldn’t wait.

Haven’t we all experienced something like this. We lost our patience and ran into more trouble than we could overcome. "But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1:4). Times of difficulty and testing come to purify us and make us stronger. The word for temptations used in James 1:2 is “dokimion,” and it means that impurity will be removed by the purging that comes from testing or temptations. The result is “hupomone,” which means patience. It also means not only to deal with difficulty, but to change it to greatness and glory. Patience will cause a person to mature, to become complete in all God wants for you, and to lack nothing before God.

Don’t lose your patience, because to do so actually means you have lost confidence in God taking care of you and working His will even when you don’t see it.

In those times of darkness and despair one can easily lose sight of purpose and calling. Rachel Powell, missionary to Thailand, struggled as she prepared to move to the mission field. She first became pregnant, then was diagnosed with cancer. After surgery and another wait, she hoped to move forward with her husband.

However, months of illness kept her from God’s calling, or so she thought.

Another year of struggle and waiting brought patience and surrender to God’s will in her life, and then she was allowed to go to the work for which God had prepared her. It’s so much better than lying beside the street like a broken 6-year old calling for help because of no ability to wait. “Wait, I say, on the Lord” (Ps. 27:14).

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