January 28

Today's ReadingExodus 19:1-22Matthew 18:21-35

Today's Thoughts: Patience

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. - James 5:7

I always cringe just a little (if not a lot) when I see the words "be patient." Not long ago we spoke at an event that had an interesting theme. The theme for this event embraced the honey "bee" and even the decorations had some kind of bee on it. There were stuffed animal-type bees, candy bees, and even flower corsages that a bee would love to buzz around. You get my drift. When we sat down at a table, there was a bee placed in front of each glass. The bee had a saying on it. Mine said "be kind." The one next to me said "be patient." I was so glad I got the "be kind" bee. Then, out of the blue, we were asked to move over one place and there it was—"be patient" staring back at me. I knew I was in trouble.

Since then I have had to wait on many things. Traffic seems extremely slow, far more than normal. This morning, we got stuck in a parking lot that was being paved and literally could not get out of it. We were running late for a meeting. And then, I went to the eye doctor. At five minutes past the hour, I heard him coming. Yea, he is right on schedule! Then, an emergency phone call came from nowhere. I waited 45 minutes. I sat in a semi-dark room and had a talk with God. He told me to be kind to everyone in that office and to keep waiting patiently. As I left, the doctor shook my hand, gave me a discount on the office visit, the receptionist gave me some free stuff, and another girl expressed to me that it had been a very long day for them. She sincerely thanked me for being "patient." I smiled, they smiled and I am pretty sure God smiled too.

When you get that little message and know in your spirit that you are being tested on something, like patience, stop and pray. The Lord had to remind me of the fruit that He wanted to bear through me – not about me, but about Him. Be alert to those things that God wants to do through you today. Stop and pray and let the Lord be your guide. You never know how it will turn out to bless someone else.

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