Two frogs fell into a tub of cream. One looked at the high sides of the tub which were too difficult to crawl over and said, “It is hopeless.” So he resigned himself to death, relaxed, and sank to the bottom. The other one was determined to keep swimming as long as he could. “Something might happen,” he said. He kept kicking and churning, and finally he found himself on a solid platform of butter and jumped to safety.
This funny little story I believe teaches us two things: (a) the importance of perseverance and (b) the importance of patience. I believe the two often times overlap. In this Covid 19 era, these two qualities are to be coveted. It is extremely important that we come to terms with this virus by having perseverance and being patience. Solomon says, “A patient man has great understanding…” (Proverbs 29a NIV). The Apostle Paul reminds us that the first quality of human relational love is “patience.” Paul says “Love is patient…” (1 Corinthians 13:4a NIV). It is through patience we learn to develop perseverance. As the writer to the Hebrew Christians (who were also experiencing some big challenges) states, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV).
I am not by nature an extremely patient person but I am learning. Through this time in history, patience is teaching me to gain good and constructive information, to weigh options, wait for God’s timing and to listen to wise counsel. I am like the little boy “standing at the end of an escalator. The sales lady asked, “Son are you lost?” “No ma’am, I’m waiting for my chewing gum to come back.” I, too, am waiting for the “things that I need to chew upon” to gain understanding and wisdom. I have heard it said “That a man without patience is like a car without brakes.” That is not good!
As we progress through this pandemic, let us do it with patience and perseverance. Let us be patient with one another and the circumstances we find ourselves in. Hopefully, we are experiencing a once in a century phenomenon. We need to remember, “The Lord himself goes before (us) and will be with (us); he will never leave (us) nor forsake (us). Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV). As we close this week, may patience and perseverance be our fortress and our guide as we live our day-to-day life in Him.
God bless you. Lord willing, we will see you Sunday. Stay safe and stay strong
- Pastor Ralph