Tag Archives: patience

Me and Oranges

I come to sit with You this morning, Father, and I am in need of Your touch. I am weary and slow of mind. Speak to me. Invigorate me. I need You, today.

James 5:10-11 (<<click here)

Lord, You definitely brought a smile to my face! I sit here pondering what You would have me learn from these verses the speak of “patience in suffering” and you toss me an orange!

Oranges are wonderful pieces of fruit. Their color is vibrant – bursting with life. They are intricate in their design. A bitter rind encases segments of fruit that are both tart and sweet. And it doesn’t just taste good, it’s good for you! A refreshing treat to say the least.

So what in the world does an orange have to do with “patience in suffering”? To get to the pleasing beneficial portion You have to get through the bitter portion. I realize the rind can be used in baking but most of us remove it to get to the fruit we cut through it or peel it off.

If you think of it from the orange’s perspective that whole process can’t be pleasant. If we were oranges – removing the rind of our situations would involve a fair amount of suffering. When I peel an orange I like to remove as much of that white membrane under the rind as well. And that takes patience.

Often in life, we go through difficult times. Quite often there is quite a lot of pain and suffering that we must endure – sickness, disease, death, relationship issues, job struggles, persecution for our faith, sometimes things turn out the way we want – other times we are left to pick up the pieces. We may even have to deal with great loss. But as we look back over our lives we don’t necessarily look at our suffering with smiles but on many occasions, we can see the fruit that came from those difficult times.

We are stronger. We are better able to empathize with others going through times of suffering. Hopefully, we have allowed those times to draw us closer to You, Lord. If anyone knows “patience in suffering”, it is You.

Oct 7th, Fri, 6:39 am

Endurance

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Father, thank You for your loving patience. You’ve helped me conquer so many things in my life but You well know that I am far from perfect. Every time something comes up that needs to be addressed, may I yield to You. Help me to lay it at Your feet – it does me no good to ignore the need for Your touch and to think I can take care of it on my own. This day I submit to Your continued Lordship over my life. Amen – so be it.

Hebrews 12:2-4 (<<click here)

Endurance… Lord, Your life amongst us was truly a living example of endurance. But even with that before us, many of us struggle. It just seems so much easier to give up and throw in the towel when the going gets tough.

Many things in life bring us great joy and fulfillment – marriage, family, kids, work, church, homes, yards and this list goes on. But they can also bring us great heartache, stress and fatigue. So many things are worth our investments of time and energy. We just have to endure.

Karen and I have spent this last couple of days edging around flower beds and mulching. It is a lot of hard work! It’s hot. It’s dirty. Our bodies have protested quite a bit. It’s not been easy but it has been well worth the effort!

This summer we will celebrate 30 years of wedded bliss. Has it always been easy? No. Has it ever crossed our minds to give up? Maybe. But we didn’t and, oh, my, it has surely been well worth the effort!

I have walked with the Lord now for most of my life. I have had many challenges and struggles. I have failed and fallen, more times than I can recall. But, Lord, You have been rock solid. You’ve never given up on me. You stood with me through thick and thin. You have called me to endure. I have, only because of You, and it has truly been worth it all. Thank You, Lord, for Your loving patience. You are my inspiration. Praise Your Holy Name!

June 1st, Wed, 6:20 am

Wait Patiently

I am sorry, Father, that it has taken me longer to get here today. I have allowed lots of things to distract me and now my mind is distracted as I sit here. I implore You to take the little I bring this morning and abundantly multiply for Your glory.

Hebrews 6:13-15

“…Abraham waited patiently and he received what God had promised.”

Patience may be a virtue but, at least for most of us, it does not come easily. Some things can give us instant gratification – a peppermint candy or a quick kiss from someone we love. But other things seem like they will never come – the end of a school for a teacher or Christmas for a child.

But what about God’s promises? Several years ago when I was a children’s pastor we had a guest speaker and he shared with the kids that God can answer our prayers in three ways – with a “YES”, or “NO’ or a “WAIT.” A WAIT?  – now that’s a struggle! And adults struggle just as much as kids do.

Lord, sitting here I have no profound thoughts. What I do know is that You are faithful. For over 50 years You have taken care of me. You have never let me down. You’ve never forsaken me. You’ve never given up on me either. My faith in You is well founded. If I have to wait on You, I will do so patiently. You know what’s best.

Mar 17th, Thurs, 8:44 am

I Am a Cup

It’s hard to believe that what caused me to wake up several times this morning for fear I would miss is something I wasn’t even thinking of doing a year ago! But Father I do not want to miss our special time together. Granted at this point the compulsive part of my personality may be making a contribution but it’s all good! Father, You made me and whatever it takes to get me up and at it with You is fine by me! Bless our time together; speak to me for I am listening…

I’m not exactly sure what he said, but a radio preacher got my mind going down a certain track. Then end result was – I am a cup. (Profound, huh?) At the beginning of each day I get to fill it with whatever I want. It is a choice but it is also possible to relinquish that choice and to just let the day fill it with whatever it will. A big problem, though with going that route is that all kinds of junk can be dumped in my cup – anger…apathy…bitterness…envy…lust…revenge…need I go on? And more often than not these things will leave a residue in my cup.

In the past when I’ve made chocolate milk, sometimes the chocolate syrup sticks to the side of my cup even with lots of stirring and scraping. Now what was in my cup was very good but if it is not cleaned properly the residue that was left will still be there the next day when I go to use my cup again. So unless I take care to clean my cup, each day’s residue will continue to accumulate and before too long things begin to taste funny. If I’m not careful it can even begin to affect my health.

That’s one way I can go about being a cup but is not the only way. I am a cup who knows its Maker! Those individuals who make things usually know a great deal about their care. God made me and who better to help me care for myself?

Each morning now, I start off clean – no accumulating residue to mess things up. And each day God fills me. He fills me with himself and all the good things that make Him who He is…love….patience…forgiveness…purity…devotion…joy…and boy, could I go on! And He doesn’t just fill me a little, His fill is to overflowing! It is clean and pure and whole and it fills my every need. And my overflow can’t help but splash those around me – some get a little sprinkle but if they get close enough they might just get drenched! What could be better than that!?

There’s a song that comes to mind that communicates these thoughts so clearly – “Fill My Cup, Lord.”

Like the woman at the well, I was seeking
For things that could not satisfy.
And then I heard my Savior speaking—
“Draw from My well that never shall run dry.”

     Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord;
     Come and quench this thirsting of my soul.
     Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more.
     Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.

There are millions in this world who are craving
The pleasures earthly things afford.
But none can match the wondrous treasure
That I find in Jesus Christ my Lord.

So my brother if the things that this world gave you
Leave hungers that won’t pass away,
My blessed Lord will come and save you
If you kneel to Him and humbly pray—

Words & Music by Richard Blanchard

Lord, fill me this day. Use me as You will. Help me drench those around me with all that You are! Amen!

Feb 6th, Sat, 5:11 am

Consistent Practice

In the quiet of this morning hour, Father, may I hear You speak to me. May Your words resonate with my soul and may they be branded upon my heart to carry with me for the rest of my life.

Titus 2:1-2 (<<click here)

Lord, I may be leaning a bit more into the “older men” category of which Paul speaks but these are all traits that everyone should be emulating, “self-control…worthy of respect…live wisely…sound faith…filled with love and patience.” v2

As my study Bible* alludes to this “whole teaching” leads us to combine “correct knowledge and understanding with consistent practice.” Your Word, Lord, should be our source of “correct knowledge” and time spent with You in contemplating Your Word will bring “understanding.” Consistently practicing doing these things will greatly impact us and the world around us.

Why are we so reluctant to invest energy and effort into reading our Bibles and talking with You, Lord? I realize that some things in life cannot be avoided – work, family, home, etc. but all of us have a certain amount of time to do with as we wish. And we fill that time with all kinds of things – some more honorable than others. If we want a relationship to grow, we invest in it. If we want our relationship with You to grow it is no different. When we do so the results are innumerable! Our lives are changed for the better – they’re literally impacted eternally! AND we impact others! Paul’s list of characteristics for “older men” are things that can bear a wonderfully positive influence on others both in this life and in our lives beyond this time on earth!

Lord, continue to draw me to Your side – more and more may it become a passion of mine!

Jan 23rd, Sat, 7:18 am

*New Living Translation Life Application Study Bible