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The Patience of Jesus

The capacity to accept or tolerate behavior, circumstances and people encapsulates the word patience.  Coaches, parents and teachers understand what it means to endure these trying situations.  True patience abstains from anger, emotional outbursts or becoming upset.  The key to patience is practicing restraint whatever suffering that you may encounter.  From a historical perspective, no one demonstrated patience than Jesus of Nazareth.

He replied, “O unbelieving (faithless) generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!” – Mark 9:19

After sending his disciples out in pairs of two, Jesus began to receive some feedback.  In the context of the passage above, one father was disappointed as the disciples were unable to heal his son.  Based upon Jesus’ comment, this wasn’t an isolated incident as it appears that several of his pupils were slow learners.  Thus, Jesus was forced to clean up they public relations mess his disciples made, diagnosing the problem before casting out an unclean spirit.

But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience, Romans 8:25.

Jesus waited 12 years prior to be able to teach publicly.  Another 18 passed before God the Father wanted Jesus to begin his earthly ministry.  Perhaps, knowing his fate 3 years later enabled Jesus to wait patiently, preparing himself for what was to come.  Despite the failures of his disciples, Jesus remained calm, composed and displayed fortitude until completing God’s will.  While Jesus did express holy anger on a couple of occasions, he did not sin.  May we all learn from this godly example.

by Jay Mankus

 

A Picture From God

The visual learner inside of human beings often struggle to believe in things that they can’t see.  Words are meaningless unless an image, thought or vision appears.  Sometimes a picture from God is what individuals are waiting for to breathe hope and life into their soul.

When the Lord slashed Gideon’s army from 22,000 to 300 men, he had his doubts about achieving victory.  To calm these fears, God provided a picture of success in Judges 7:9-15.  Peter had a similar experience in Luke 5:1-11.  As a professional fishermen, Peter wasn’t one to withhold his opinion.  However, after a humbling night on the water, a new kid on the block brought Peter to his knees, Luke 5:8.  These pictures from above empowered these followers to reach heights they never imagined.

Although its not mentioned, the men of Issachar likely received snapshots from the Holy Spirit.  While the world was distracted, these godly leaders stayed the course, keeping in step with the Lord, 1 Chronicles 12:32.  Today, this country and the world needs someone who understands the times.  May a picture from God engrave minds set on fulfilling Romans 12:2 so that the lost have someone to follow back home.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

No Reason to Pretend

In order to put on a happy face, some individuals feel compelled to hide their misery from co-workers, family and neighbors.  Like a Halloween masquerade party, many profess to be fine all the while anguish, grief and pain collect.  Although the motto “fake it until you make it” sounds logical, there is no reason to pretend.

From a mere vocational point of view, the last 5 years of my life have been like a hurricane, causing flood waters to break through levy’s.  As the storm surge continues to rise, my heart, soul and mind cling to promises of the Bible, hoping the trials subside soon.  When success reigned supreme, life was a piece of cake.  However, as turmoil entered my life through the winds of change, I’m not the same person.

Sure, I try to stay upbeat, but I am a mirage of my younger years, a piece of drift wood transformed by time, wind and water.  Water logged, especially around the waist, I long for dry land, a beach to call home.  Footprints along the shore are obvious signs that God has been carrying me.  When the waves calm, I will arise, perhaps wiser than before.  Like a work in progress, a strand of clay in the molding process, there is no reason to pretend it isn’t well with my soul.  Yet, I press on to take hold of that which Christ Jesus took hold of me, Philippians 3:12-14.

Don’t be afraid to be transparent; real so that a hurting world can see the only thing holding believers together, Romans 5:5.

by Jay Mankus

Days of Trouble

I’m beginning to think that life is like a journey across the Ocean.  Some days the sky is sunny, waves timid and the winds calm, allowing you to coast without any worries.  Yet, without any warning, storms develop out of no where, rocking your world, forming days of trouble.

A few weeks ago, I was on cloud nine, enjoying my seasonal position, optimistic that I would likely receive a full time position in this department.  Today, I’m like the sail boat in Robert Redford’s latest film, All is Lost, slowly sinking to the bottom of the sea.  My perspective has drastic changed, just hoping to get back to work, waiting to be medically cleared to return.  During my days of trouble, the weather appears isolated, a slight drizzle overhead with a dense fog blinding my vision of the future.

Psalm 27:5 recounts the trials King David endured before the Lord fulfilled his promise in 1 Samuel 16:13.  On the run, fleeing the wrath of King Saul and dwelling in a cave wasn’t exactly how David pictured his journey to the throne.  Despite the heartache one experiences in the days of trouble, God has promised to provide shelter from these storms.  As the flood waters rise, place your feet of the rock and God will keep you safe until the days of trouble pass.

by Jay Mankus

Clinging to the Security Blankets of Your Past

Charles Schultz conjured up in his mind a fictional character with real life tendencies in his classic comic strip Peanuts.  Linus was a boy who never wanted to leave his favorite blanket, finding comfort from this childhood possession.  Today, infants have similar habits, becoming attached to binkies, serving as a calming device to produce sleep.  Despite purging closets each spring, most adults aren’t willing to let go of sentimental items, keeping a few like a security blanket from your past.

Peter was a professional fisherman whose new acquaintance introduced himself as a carpenter.  Luke 5:1-11 recounts this first meeting as Peter listens to Jesus speak after a long night of work.   Despite his initial hesitation, Peter is willing to trust someone from another occupation, based upon a gut feeling within his heart, Luke 5:6.  Subsequently, Peter reached a point of conviction, guilty of holding on to traditions instead of faith.  By the end of this passage, each member of his crew was touched by God, leaving everything they knew behind, letting go of their security blankets.

I’m not sure if its my ego, pride or stubbornness, but I find it hard to completely change the routines I have set in life.  Sure, every New Year’s provides a tempest, the perfect conditions to rededicate one’s life.  Nonetheless, the fear of uncertainty prevents permanent transformation from occurring.  Thus, when the going get’s tough, people fall back on what they know instead of following the advice of strangers.  This reality of life fulfills the words of Proverbs 27:19, “as water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”  May the example of these fishermen inspire others to forgo the security blankets of their past with a faith for the future.

by Jay Mankus

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