Any time we "get our hopes up" only to have them dashed, we will suffer pain and heartbreak. The Bible tells us that hope deferred makes the heart sick, and I imagine all of us have learned this lesson often and poignantly.
Learning patience is an excruciating adventure. It would be so much easier if all we had to do was snap our fingers and, poof, whatever we wanted suddenly appeared before us. But, except for times like Moses before Pharaoh, God rarely operates in this manner.
The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5 that tribulation works patience and patience works hope. This simple lesson is one that must be learned or the setbacks we suffer in this life will destroy our willingness to faithfully stand for God. Anyone can stay faithful during the good times when every day is a beautiful walk in the park but it takes a special brand of faith to remain faithful when that park blows up and you have no legs remaining to walk with.
Watching and listening to stories of incredible faith from those who lived through the Joplin tornado has made me realize what whining spiritual wimps we have become. I have no clue what it would be like to lose your home, place of employment and possibly your wife/husband children or parents suddenly in a storm.
Most of us throw a fit and go sulk in the corner when we have a bad day or don't get what we want when we want it. It is beyond the grasp of our mind to comprehend losing everything we call dear in this life in a moment of time.
I have spent the better part of the past 24 hours with heaviness and pain deep in my heart. I never watch the evening news but I did yesterday and I wept as people said they were only alive because of their faith in God and His mercy. In many disasters people cry out "why me?", but in Joplin many were crying out "Thank you for sparing me".
The next time any of us start feeling sorry for our lot in this life, remember there are many others in FAR WORSE situations than we will ever know. We have nothing to complain about as long as we have a roof over our heads, food in our stomachs and the love of family and friends. Sometimes we need to slow down and quit complaining long enough to see that things really aren't so bad.
Today, there is a HIGH risk of huge destructive storms in Oklahoma and Kansas. The last time there was this kind of risk was in April when Tuscaloosa and other places in the southern USA got battered by the biggest tornado outbreak in history. My heart is heavy for some of our dearest friends here at CB live right in the middle of the area designated as highest risk today.
May we all set aside our petty concerns this day and pray with great urgency for those impacted by the storm Sunday and for those who must deal with very severe storms today and tomorrow. The relentless barrage of natural disasters is truly trying the patience of many strong believers. I pray God takes care of them and they receive what is needed to make it through these difficult times.
[quote]The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 5 that tribulation works patience and patience works hope. This simple lesson is one that must be learned or the setbacks we suffer in this life will destroy our willingness to faithfully stand for God. Anyone can stay faithful during the good times when every day is a beautiful walk in the park but it takes a special brand of faith to remain faithful when that park blows up and you have no legs remaining to walk with.[/quote]
You are right. It is easy to "sing praises" when there is no adversity. However, it is the fire which brings forth our true colors. May we be faithful... even in the midst of adversity and may God be with those who have suffered such grief and devastation this past Sunday.