The Forgotten Path
James 5:7-8. Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient.
The word “patience” has become more than just a simple word in prayer circles. We have moved now to feeling as if the attribute of patience is a literal curse on our lives. And its easy to see why. Patience is difficult. In fact the root word for patience is patior, meaning “to suffer”.
But we have done a great injustice by denigrating this necessary attribute. A W Tozer said about modern day Christians: “I am afraid we modern day Christians are long on talk and short on conduct. We use the language of power but our deeds are the deeds of weakness. We settle for words in religion because deeds are too costly. It is easier to pray, “Lord, help me to carry my cross daily” than to pick up the cross and carry it; but since the mere request for help to do something we do not actually intend to do, has a certain degree of religious comfort, we are content with the repetition of words.”
We all want to get to the next level in our relationship with Christ.That’s not the problem. The problem lies in our fear. We are afraid to pay the price to walk the narrow road.
Take Christ’s journey to Calvary for instance. We may use religious comfort and repetition of words to ease our pain, but Jesus took the narrow and difficult way. He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. As Henri Nouwen explains, “ Jesus entered into Jerusalem… on a donkey, like a clown at a parade. This was His way of reminding us that we fool ourselves when we insist on easy victories…”
Many of us have forgotten the path we must take to get to the next level in our relationship with Christ. It has been rejected by a society thriving on instant gratification, faster technology, and fear of commitment. We want it now or we don't want it at all. No wonder we balk when we hear the word “Patience”. Our culture has denied it and most of us have forgotten it.
To discover God’s dream for our lives though, we’ve got to rediscover the forgotten path. Surely the path is paved with patience. Remember the forgotten path. God has a plan for every man and woman. May God help us.
Lord, help us to live one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting patience as a pathway to peace with You, with ourselves and with the world. Not as we would have our way, but trusting that You will make all things right, we surrender to Your will. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweetRev. Mathew Samuel, Mar Thoma Church of Dallas, Farmers Branch.