Noah gets the patience award because he rode with the animals, says Jeremy, 8: “They probably stunk.”
That wasn’t all that smelled, says Rachel, 7: “I think it was really hard because everyone was calling Noah crazy. I think that really stunk. Noah was patient.”
“He listened to God,” says Gayce, 9.
Listen to God or listen to people. Hearing God means you’ll be swimming against the tide.
“Mary had a lot of patience going around and trying to find a place to give birth,” says Sean, 11.
Think of Mary’s patience when trying to explain to Joseph that she was pregnant but still a virgin. Until an angel explained things to Joseph, he doubted her.
What about the many times Mary didn’t understand her son? At a wedding feast, Mary told Jesus their hosts had run out of wine. His response was extraordinary: “Woman, what does your concern have to do with me? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4). Throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus refers to the time of his crucifixion as his “hour.”
Jesus’ words to Mary sound strange to us, but there’s no indication from Mary that she thought he was being disrespectful.
When Mary told Jesus of the wine shortage, perhaps Jesus made the symbolic connection with his crucifixion, which would establish the new covenant. Mary’s instructions to the servants were remarkable: “Whatever he says to you, do it.”
At the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus lifted a cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood” (I Corinthians 11:25).
The struggle for patience surrounds the birth of another baby, says Christen: “I think Abraham and Sarah had a lot of patience because Sarah wanted a baby. Abraham asked God, but they had to wait awhile.”
The Lord promised Abram descendants as numerous as the stars. Later, his name was changed to Abraham, which means father of many. At the time, he wasn’t father of any. The Scripture records that he believed in the Lord, and the Lord credited it to him for righteousness.
During the wait, Abraham and Sarah tried to help God. Sarah asked her maidservant to visit Abraham’s tent. The result was the birth of Ishmael. Trouble always follows when we try to help God instead of patiently waiting for him to work (Genesis 16 and 17).
The Bible character most known for patience is Job, says Kristen, 7: “He had to wait for his sores to go away. I do not think I could do that.”
It wasn’t only his sores. Job’s entire world collapsed. He lost his family, property and health. One family member survived. His nagging wife urged him to curse God and die.
Job was clueless about the reason for his troubles. He didn’t know that Satan had challenged his integrity in the court of heaven. Job’s response to his sufferings stands as a memorial to his patient trust in the Lord: “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
Job’s patience is legendary, but there is someone who surpasses him, says Ally, 12: “Jesus died a hard, slow death for us. He is always patient, waiting for us to turn to Him.”
Think about this: Our eternal salvation has its roots in the patience of Jesus’ suffering on the cross.
Memorize this truth: “For consider him who endured such hostility from sinners against himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls” (Hebrews 12:3).
Ask this question: Do you look to God for patience when you become frustrated?
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Bible quotations are from the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.
COPYRIGHT 2006 CAREY KINSOLVING