Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”

Romans 12:12

Do you remember the days of taking photographs with a camera? The photographer had to pace their production, each photo cost money, and film was a limited commodity. There was no mechanism for deleting photos or previewing their quality. Once the event was over the film had to be taken out of the camera and to a local store where it would be shipped out for processing. Some days later the final product was ready for pick-up. Opening that envelope was a bit of a “crap shoot” as you never knew exactly what to expect.

Do you remember when you had a favorite TV show, and it was Wednesday nights at 7:00 p.m.? And if you missed it — you missed it. You could watch it on Wednesday evening at 7:00 p.m., or wait for months for reruns. Do you remember when people bought items on layaway? My Grandmother Lindus bought a China cabinet on layaway. She made payments for three years until she was able to bring that piece of furniture home. And there was a day when you had to wait for the “news hour” to get news and the newspaper actually had news that seemed current.

The days of waiting for pretty much everything were not so long ago, and yet our perspective has changed dramatically. Thanks to Cable TV, VCR, DVR, Smart phones, Google, Internet, credit cards, and Amazon we rarely have to wait for anything. Order it today, have it tomorrow. Movies on demand, information at our fingertips, restaurant delivery, and we are constantly alerted to breaking news on our phones. A generation has been raised with the expectation of instant gratification. It should be no surprise then that we are getting sick and tired of waiting for this virus to be gone. We have had little practice waiting; we are not very patient. I include myself in this growing impatience.

“Be patient in tribulation.”

Can we help each other to be patient? Can we perhaps learn patience once again? Let’s start by being patient and kind to each other. Constant in prayer, pray that you may be more patient with those you live with, and with those essential workers who serve you. Given that we are all in this season of tribulation, a season that approached without warning and shows no real signs of departing, can we offer others a little patience? Can we pledge not to add to the burden that people are already carrying by venting our anxiety on them? And while you are at it, cut yourself a break. Be patient with yourself. Be kind to the one who looks back at you each morning in the mirror.

Until recently waiting had always been a part of the human experience. The pandemic has forced us to wait again. There will be no instant gratification, we cannot wish this season of tribulation away or order the latest cure on Amazon. May we learn patience, may God give us patience. Now would be good, God. But we will try and wait patiently for a return of something less complicated and more familiar.

When will this end? No one knows, but we are One Day Closer.

Pastor Jim