Patience is a Virtue

It has been quite a while since I wrote you all on a update on my life. I told you I would still be writing “mission updates” from time to time since I believe that anywhere in the world is a mission field, including come back to my home towns of Wrightwood and Phelan, CA . In my last update I told you that I would be staying here and that I had started working for the Target Distribution center. After working there for a while I had a thought that came to me “What if I spent as much time as I am here on writing?’ I want to spend more time writing on here as well as write a few books. That was one of the major thoughts that led me to decide I wanted to resign. The next day I gave my resignation, only to have one of my co-workers (the only co-worker that is Christian) ask me how I was doing. I told him that I had put in my resignation but that my boss had told me to think about it a little bit longer and if I changed my mind over the two weeks to let him know, or that if I really didn’t want to be here then not to bother with the two weeks. My Christian brother, Saul, encouraged me to really pray about it some more before I made the decision final. I have found such freedom in the conviction that God is with me every where I go (something that He has had to convince me of, being that I would not believe it until He did so) that I found myself making many decisions with very little pray. Through Saul’s urging I have realized that I may have taken the idea of the freedom to go where ever I want a bit too far. Yes, God is with me every where I go but that doesn’t mean I should not pray about it. You see, when I was in Bible College I would never do anything unless I had prayed days on it and had often fasted. I had become so concerned about knowing the will of God in every instance that I missed a lot of opportunities and doors that He had been holding open for me to walk through. Then, after Bible College, I had gone completely the other direction. I realize finally that there is a balance– as there is in almost all practical Christian living. Yes, God is with me where ever I go and has given me an incredible freedom to choose where and what to do in life, but that does not mean I do not still seek His wisdom and counsel on decisions. So I resolved to pray.

After work that day I decided I wanted some In-N-Out. Hey I was feeling sort of down about not knowing where to go in life, so I wanted comfort food!!! If you do not know of In-N-Out it is mostly a California thing and you have to try it some day. Anyways, I got turned around getting there and it took me forever to find it. Finally I got my precious burger then headed to the gas station where I just so happened to run into my former boss from the Maui Wowi, a coffee and smoothies place in Phelan, CA. I have to say that this man is one of the most kind and loving boss I have ever had. I enjoyed every minute of every day when I used to work for him before I moved to Ecuador. Running into him at a gas station (no where near Phelan mind you) was really encouraging to me because he told me he would try to find a place for me as soon as he could at the shop. It was the encouragement that I needed to know that God was with me should I choose that path. A few weeks later and I am now working for him again. I make a lot less money but have more time to focus on writing and on school and most importantly am a lot more happy.

That said, I have found myself running on empty still, despite my desires to spend a lot more time writing.  Writing is a funny thing since you have to be inspired for it and if you are not it is very hard to motivate yourself to do it. That is why I want to apologize for neglecting this blog so much. I really do want to keep writing and hopefully encouraging my readers as they hear about how God works in my life or even better the things that God teaches me that I can then teach to you but lately I have felt so out of touch with God that I am unable to share much on here. Today at church the pastor, Zeke Flores, taught about the need for endurance in his study on James 5:7-12.

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand…. My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord– that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful. -James 5:7-8,10-11

Waiting-for-a-harvest

The word patient there is “to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart. To persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles or to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others” (Strong’s). I won’t lie to you I have felt like giving up in many ways. I think God has allowed me to be tested and I think, sadly, I have failed. It seems like so many things have just been going wrong lately and not according to plan. Only in one thing do I remain, that even if I have failed God in my walk and faithfulness to Him I still in the end love Him and choose Him. I have even cursed God, a thing that I am sorry for and have apologized to Him about, and yet have found only blessings of comfort in return. Things are not going as well here as I expected them to and it has only shown me the greater depths of my need for the Lord. I am truly nothing without Him. Everything that is good in my life has always come from Him and the moment I tried to take a step away and do what I thought was best for me and what I wanted everything began to fall apart. It amazes me though that the Lord is not surprised by all this and that it rather seems to be a part of His plan somehow.

All of that to say that I will continue to endure– albeit through many more failures. It is only through suffering and difficulties that we learn what it means to be patient, to learn what it means to endure, for if we never had those trials we would have no need of endurance. We learn that we must be patient while suffering and oddly enough that very suffering itself produced the patience. I know that God is with me where ever I go but I also am reminded that I will need to seek His counsel still anyways. To accomplish this balance I will need to be very patient. My dad always told me growing up countless times that patience is a virtue. It became almost a joke between us since he said it so often. He was right though; it is a virtue and one of the most valuable ones to posses. I must be patient and wait for the blessing of the Lord, for just as the harvest takes time to come and hard times come often in between, so does the blessing of the Lord take time. At the end of every trial God has good in mind for us. We know this because God is very compassionate and merciful. We saw how it worked out for Job. It wasn’t easy for him but in the end he was blessed with double of what he had before. The Lord Jesus could come back at any moment and when He does we will see the reward of our patience– and that is what our hearts must be established in.

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