2020-08-04 - Patience
This devotional is definitely for myself, equally with anyone else who needs the reminder! We (we being the world, not just the United States) are living in a time that requires much patience! Whether we are eager to return to what we think of as normalcy when the Covid-19 virus ends, or we are chomping at the bit for justice for those who are committing serious violent crimes while rioting or anything else prevalent in 2020, we all need to remind ourselves that patience IS a fruit of the Spirit, as the Apostle Paul reminded the Galatians and us, and is recorded in Galatians 5:22.
In some cases, impatience can lead to tragedy, such as in the case of a man who killed a restaurant worker because of a delay in service. (Prayers for all involved, please!) But for most of us, it is just an irritant that takes us off-focus from the things about which we DO have control.
For me, personally, my shortest fuse is for the lack of justice so far - for people who hand out laser pointers at marches and then aim lasers at police officers' eyes - and three officers have already been blinded for life, people who throw incendiary devices in occupied buildings to try to set them afire - from which the people have to evacuate for their very lives, as well as people who get out of cars and block major thoroughfares and even busy interstates, during all times of day, as they intimidate other drivers with machine guns and block those trying to get through Sometimes the people trying to get through are headed to work, to try to provide for their families; sometimes they are even medical personnel trying to reach people in need. Firetrucks have also been attacked by bricks and rocks and knives, as well.
There is NOTHING civil about this disobedience.
FIRST-HAND reports are the source of all the things that I have listed, by those dealing with it and also documented on cameras, and most are from our own state. So contrary to what some try to persuade people to believe, these continuing violent incidents across the country are NOT fiction, NOT over; some happening as recently as yesterday Sunday 8/2 - incidents with which we are personally familiar, not things we just heard from someone on Tv.
Richard feels as strongly as I do about justice, and he has never been so upset about national issues, as he is about some of the ungodly actions and plans in and for our country! But he always reminds me "'the bad guys will get caught eventually." God does tell us to seek justice, and He has given me a very sensitive justice meter; I literally can't sleep when I know someone is treated unjustly, whether it is inner city African-American murder victims by gang members, Domestic Violence victims or Child Molestation victims or police officers unjustly lumped in and vilified with the SMALL percentage of bad ones - or whoever. But Richard is absolutely right, and in fact, God's own word reminds us of this in Psalm 37 (NIV)
7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.The Psalmist goes on, in verse nine, to tell us that the wicked WILL be punished. Yes, God expects us all do our part, whatever that is for each of us, but still, we must be patient and try to trust God for the eventual outcome (yelling at myself now haha)!
We are beginning to see this justice happen, one at a time. For example, in the case of the longtime, very caring Black officer who was simply standing by his motorbike along the streets in case he was needed, who had his legs crushed by a speeding protestor riding an ATV, the suspect has been arrested and charged with serious felonies including Aggravated Assault. I know that some of you will want to know about the officer's condition (Thank you so much!), this is public info, so I am not violating HIPPA when i tell you that he does have one leg working now, and continues to work hard in PT, on getting the other to work again. At one point, we were told he may never walk again. May that not be so. Please continue to pray for him in his long recovery.
Meanwhile, God has also brought another Biblical story to my mind during the past week, as a reminder. As the Torah teaches us in the book of Numbers (32:37), the Israelites had to wander in the desert for FORTY YEARS. Sorry for shouting, but that is an important emphasis! In our own calendar, the 40 years equates to 14,600 days. The Corona Virus-related changes began affecting most of us around mid-March, which brings us to roughly 141 days. So thus far, compared to the time we have had altered lifestyles, our waiting time comes to approximately .009589 (rounded) of the time that God's Chosen People were displaced from their homes and normal lives. In other words, they were displaced for 1000 times as long as we have been, to this point! As far as those of us who are impatient for justice and for truth to be understood and not discounted, the riots have been going on for approximately 62 days. That is an even shorter time, compared to the Jewish people's desert journey, which comes out to .0042466 (rounded) of the 40 years - four one thousandths! So they had to wander for four thousand times as long as we have been waiting.
I am a math nerd, anyway, so this put everything in perspective to me, and I hope that it will do so fr you, as well! So with all this in mind, I believe that God is reminding us - in all our situations - to be patient, keep things in perspective - and has someone has said, that "God isn't finished with us yet!"
All verses are from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted.