Super sale, a lesson in patience

Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Genesis 21:5

The holiday season will be sneaking up on us and Christmas shopping has already begun. The smartest among us have already bought plenty of gifts and most of it on-line. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try some of us always land up buying some gifts late. But the worst is when we have to go in person to that local department store having that super sale at the last minute. Then we’re face to face with the longest lines we could possible imagine. Patience then is not only a virtue but a necessity. We have no other choice.

Waiting on God often feels the same way. Especially if you have an aggressive nature like myself. Abraham had to wait a whole lot longer than me and managed to keep his faith. He was called out from his comfortable home and taken on a journey that would take him over all of the Middle East, including Egypt, on the promise of being the father of many nations and inheriting the Promised Land.

The problem is that Abraham didn’t even have a son. He patiently waited until the ripe old age of 100, to finally receive the promised son through his wife Sarah. He did this while faithfully following God’s directions, worshiping Him and sincerely trying his best to live a righteousness life. There were wars, family conflicts, various trials and a whole lot of waiting. However Abraham received all that God had promised.

We too must often wait on God’s promises. He is faithful and his reward will be finer than the super sale at the local department store.

A sad Funeral Procession

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep.” Luke 7:13

The funeral procession could not have been more depressing. There she was all alone in the world and crying. She had lost her husband and now her son. No one was able to help. The doctors could not do a thing for her. Her family could not console her. I watched in horror, as my eyes watered up. Then I noticed the stranger. He was like no other. His face displayed strength and seriousness and yet a deep sadness. He was staring at her. It was as if He could not bear this women crying. Then I suddenly became aware. It was Him! It was that prophet, the great man of God who had been traveling across the country side. He had healed the blind and caused the crippled to walk. Others had reported of his power over demons. They said he would simply speak and the demons would flee. Yet others had been critical. They claimed this man was not of God. They complained of his companions and of his work on the Sabbath. Would a man of God heal on the Sabbath? Could He help this woman?

While I contemplated this I saw him make His move. He approached the woman and with tenderness, and a soft pleasing voice, said “Do not weep.”(Luke 7:13) He then turned to the dead man and said these words, which I would never forget “Young man, I say to you, arise.” (Luke 7:14) I couldn’t believe my eyes as his body snapped up. A moment ago this man was dead. I had seen him when he was pronounced dead. The town mourned for this man. A casket was built and I personally helped to place him in it. Now he was alive! All this man said was “arise”, and this dead man did. Who was this prophet?

This man is Jesus, the prince of peace, the Messiah, the son of God. Jesus did the miracle as He had done countless times before, but this time there was something different. He stopped everything, as if to hold time still, and took a moment to tell this woman “Do not weep”. Jesus is the God, who has compassion, the God who loves, the God who feels the pain in your heart and cries with you.

Surely he shall hear your prayers and comfort you in the midst of your trials. He will provide for every need (Psalm 23:1), and as He promised, faithfully be with you to the end. (Matthew 28:20)

(Please note the eye witness, who tells the story was created as a fictional representation of the many that were present at this great event. Please read of this great miracle in its entirety in Luke 7:11-17)

Heart Trouble?

 “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. ” JOHN 14:1-3

What troubles your heart?

Rising taxes, unemployment, bills, a broken car, family conflicts, relationships, sickness or even hunger could be part of an endless list. It’s not a perfect world, far from it. Pain, injustice and despair consistently enter our lives, just to remind us that it is a fallen world.  Maintaining your faith or just a positive attitude can be a challenge in the midst of all the trouble.

The disciples were no strangers to trouble.  They suffered mighty persecution at the hands of religious leaders of the day and the Roman empire.  History records that they were imprisoned, beaten, and killed.  Surely Jesus knew they would have cause for a troubled heart.  Was it unfair for Jesus to make such a request. “Let not your heart be troubled.”

Jesus knew the persecution would be great.  But he wanted them to trust in His promises. They surely did.  There’s was a life of power and faith. While suffering persecution, they were able to spread the gospel with joy in their hearts.  We can recall Paul and Silas singing in the prison after having been beaten and chained.  The prison walls would shake and crumble before God’s power.  Paul and Silas did not allow for their hearts to be troubled.  Instead they worshiped God .  We can do likewise when we remember Christ’s promises. “I go to prepare a place for you.”

Regardless of the trouble of this world we can keep our hearts trouble free by maintaining our faith in His promises.  He’s prepared a place.  He’s coming back for you and me and we will be with Him forever!

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