Thursday, February 14, 2019

Patience When Disaster Strikes

Chuckle: Sign in a Texas country store: "Be patient. None of us am perfect!"
Quote: "Patience is more than a virtue; it is a daily necessity. It is not an elective; it is a required course in the school of life." --William Arthur Ward 

"Job is an example of a man who endured (disaster) patiently. From his experience we see how the Lord's plan finally ended in good, for he is full of tenderness and mercy" (James 5:11 NLT).
Personal disasters are perhaps the most difficult kind of trials for us to endure with patience; but there is no time when the need for patience is greater. I doubt if anyone in history has ever experienced such personal disasters as Job. In two days, Job lost his family (children killed in storm), lost all his possessions, lost his friends, and had a painful disease. His wife came to him and suggested he "curse God, and die" (Job 2:9c KJV).
God never told Job why he was suffering -- why he was having to endure all those hardships. But, even in face of total disaster, he continued steadfast in his faith. He hung in there. He never cursed God and never gave up. He said of God: "Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him" (Job 13:15 KJV).
Life's disasters come in many forms including financial ruin, painful loss of beloved family members, diagnosis of a terminal disease, devastating loss of house and other property during a natural disaster, etc. In times like these, the true metal of our faith is revealed. Each time I read the account of Job's extreme trials and disasters, I'm reminded that my disasters to date have been minor in comparison. Sometimes we see our relatively minor inconveniences and disappointments as disasters. Tornados, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc., remind us that disasters can come at any time and when least expected.
When disaster strikes, our first reaction is to ask "why did a loving God allow this to happen." As Job struggled to understand why these terrible things were happening to him, it became clear that God did not intend for him to know the reasons. He had to face life without satisfactory answers to the question, why? It was only when he trusted God without answers that his faith became fully developed.
I think the operative question for each of us is this: Is our faith strong enough to remain unshaken no matter what disasters befall us? No doubt God allows our faith to be tested from time to time as He did with Job. When hardships come, can we progress from questioning God about "why" to hearing God's questions to us about our trust in Him? Can we stand the test with patience and say to God with Job: "I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance" (Job 42:6 NLT).
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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