Patience Grows Love in the Petri Dish of Suffering
Day 16 (Originally posted on Facebook, 16 days after my son’s death)
Job 3:11 a, 26: “Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb?. . . I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
Throughout my scripture reading I have always struggled with Job and other bearers of great suffering. Why would God allow Satan to test Job? He even goes so far as to point Job out. Can you imagine the God of the Universe pointing you out for Satan’s “special” attention? “Have you considered my servant …___________?”
No thank you!
“She has the patience of Job” is used when describing someone who is enduring great suffering. What do patience and suffering have to do with each other?
Patience: from the Latin word patiencia- “endurance”, from pati- “to suffer”.
- the quality of being patient, as the bearing of provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like.
- an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay: to have patience with a slow learner.
- quiet, steady perseverance; even-tempered care; diligence: to work with patience. (Dictionary.com)
Alright, so suffering is in the very meaning of patience.
Job suffered the loss of all his children, his livelihood, and his health. He even had to suffer through the speeches of three friends who have been nicknamed “miserable comforters”. The closest that the devil can get to having Job curse God is to curse his own birth. But, at the end of the day God had final say over even that. “Where were you when. . .” (38:4) In other words, I am God and you are not.
God doesn’t always tell us why we suffer, but he did not spare his own son, who was without blemish, and look at the results of Jesus’ suffering the cross. Many are saved. I have seen enough examples throughout scripture and in life to know that suffering comes, and that I always have a choice as to how I will respond to it. To truly love others, patience must be the first part of my response. 1 Corinthians 13:4 says love is patient,” . . . Without patience love doesn’t stand a chance. Patience, at its core, means that I am giving up my right to have my way; that I am “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like.”
Barbara Johnson, one of my all-time favorite humorists said, “Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears.”
Today I practice idling my motor, accepting God’s will for my life. The result is ALWAYS that many are saved. Just ask fellow sufferers, Joseph, Moses, Job and Jesus. Our suffering produces good things when we obey the will of God.