Haiti Mission 2014 – Day 4 – Be Patient with One Another

Day 4 has come and gone – and what a day it’s been. We began the day with worship at the Village of Hope. It was amazing to worship with the Haitian people. We were welcomed gladly, shared greetings from our home church, and witnessed some spectacular singing, prayers, and dynamic preaching. Fortunately, the worship leader came up after the sermon and gave a brief translation of the sermon.
The Sermon was based on Genesis 1:25-28 and the pastor spoke of the creation of man for God’s glory, and how God has, and will, provide all that we need to follow him. He was passionate and excited to share the texts, that much was obvious even though we didn’t understand a word of it.
From there we got a quick tour of the Village of Hope, had lunch, and rested for an hour or so before leaving for the Consolation Center for worship with the girls there. Again, we were blown away by their singing – boistrous, energetic, and lively. Some were songs we know (How Great Thou Art, This is the Day The Lord Has Made, I will Celebrate Sing unto The Lord), others we had no clue, but it was wonderful. I was asked to preach to the girls, and I shared the story of Mephibosheth from 2 Sam 9. Zachary was a huge help translating, and the kids responded well.
What was great was the 3 year old, Michaela, who, right after the service, came up and tugged on my pant leg until I knelt down to her. She just wanted to sit on my lap and cuddle. I was only too happy to oblige. She must of sat there for 20 minutes. I was told that she fell asleep during the sermon and was still waking up – who cares. She wanted held, and her father or mother weren’t there to hold her – my heart broke for her. The world stopped for a while as she curled up in my arms.
I wonder if maybe I preached more in those 20 minutes of quiet time with Michaela than I did in the 10 minutes I spoke. Probably so.
Our devotion today on the Fruit of the Spirit addressed Patience.
There’s something you have to learn quickly here in Haiti – things in Haiti happen when they happen. There’s not a lot of hurry here. Unless your driving that is – then its foot the floor at a breakneck pace.
No, for the most part, there’s not a lot of schedule keeping here. I didn’t even pack my watch. Agenda driven as we are in the states, I think people here are just the opposite. There’s always work to do, but it will still be there tomorrow if it doesn’t get done today. The heat may have something to do with it, but things just move slower here.
And that requires patience. We want to get things done, accomplish something spectacular, come home with a progress report – and sometimes that just does not happen. Sometimes holding a baby who needs to be loved is the most productive thing you can do, and that baby will need to be held and loved tomorrow, and the day after that, and long after you are gone. You will have nothing to show for it, it will force you to lay aside your ambitions – but it is the work of the Lord.
We demand so much of our time, so much of one another – are we ever really patient. We need, desperately, to exercise great patience – with each other, and with ourselves.
None of us have achieved our full stature. We are all growing, learning, changing into the man or woman God is creating us to be. I know my wife, God bless her, is a long-suffering woman. She has been waiting 20 years, and may have to wait 20 more, for me to grow into the man she knows God is making me to be; she is one of the most patient people I know.
Patience is not just a virtue, it is a gift from God. God demonstrated His tremendous patience in that while we ran headstrong from Him, He was faithful, He loved us steadfastly in Christ, and He did not count our sins against us, but laid them upon His Son upon the cross that we might be forgiven and have peace with Him.
In this kind of patience, we must bear with each other’s shortcomings, forgiving as Christ has forgiven us – freely, graciously, preemptively. When we are walking in His Spirit, His patience will teach us to deal patiently with others – especially those who would try our patience.
Finally, the Patience of God’s Spirit would also lead us to trust in the sovereign hand of God and His plan for our lives, even in the face of overwhelming obstacles. Knowing that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Rom 8:28), knowing that nothing “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ” (Romans 8:39), knowing that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6), and that “he will make everything beautiful in its time” (Eccl 3:11), knowing these things we can live in patient and faithful anticipation, trusting in HIs every promise.
SDG

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About reveds

Occupation: Pastor, Ebenezer Presbyterian Church, Lennox, SD Education: BS - Christian Education, Sterling College; MDiv. - Princeton Theological Seminary Family: Married, with Four children. Hobbies: Running (will someday run a marathon), Sci-Fi (especially Doctor Who and Sherlock), Theater, and anything else my kids will let me do.
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