Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Proving Identity With Patience by Martin Wiles

“I guess everybody needs a worst vacation story,” he texted. And they were having one.

My nephew was playing in baseball tournaments in a small nowheresville town. At least he was supposed to be playing. A cold front was slipping through the area bringing with it severe thunderstorms.

The entire family went along for the fun, but after four days they had experienced nothing but disaster. My brother’s texts were predictable. “What’s the radar showing?” Then “Game cancelled.” Between trying to find a place to stay, lining up daytime adventures, ball practice, rain and useless driving, I wasn’t surprised they were having their worst vacation ever.

Having contracted Parkinson’s disease at 40, you would think rain delayed ball games would be pretty insignificant in the whole scope of things. But it’s often life’s little things that send us running for the dugout.

Whether major or minor league stuff, turmoil teaches patience. We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love (II Corinthians 6:6 NLT). Paul could have filled a ball field with the struggles he’d endured, but he confessed patience as one way he proved his identity.

How we respond to life’s fouls says a lot to others about our faith. Is it strong enough to carry us through the tough times or only a faith of convenience? Do we trust God to help us keep our cool only when he’s allowing us to hit homeruns or also when we simply getting to first base? God teaches patience through trials; a life of constant ease teaches nothing. Let your faith in difficult times tell others who you are.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, enable us to respond to challenges in such a way that others will be drawn to You by our response.