The Blessing of Longsuffering

I have often joked with my kids about ‘Great Uncle Floyd’ the almost great inventor. His problem was that he would stop just before he succeeded. For instance, he invented a refreshing lemon beverage “6 UP”. He developed a cleaning solution “Formula 408.” He invented a card game “51 Pick Up” and  started a company “2 M”.

Years ago, pilots would nudge up to 767 miles per hour. Things would begin to shake and rattle, and they would ease up. 768 miles per hour is how fast you must go to break through that barrier. Suddenly the pilot is out pacing sound itself and the ‘sailing’ has become smooth!

Like my mythical Great Uncle, too often we stop short. One of the great gifts of God is ‘longsuffering.’ This kind of Godly perseverance pays off if we do not weary in well doing.

Like Floyd I brim with ideas and as things begin to shake and rattle around me I get fearful. I ‘pull up’ when I should push through. Opposition is natural when we are doing something! Like a toothless lion Satan roars and rages and I too easily quake.

I am so glad for Christian friends who encourage when the devil discourages, folks who support me during risky times. The World, the Flesh and the Devil say “Stop!” but God says “though you walk through the valley of shadow… I will be with you!” We come to the barrier to have God take us through the barrier.

There were those who thought Columbus would sail off the edge of the world. There were those who feared breaking the sound barrier. Yet in each case whole new planes of existence opened as they persisted through.

It is this longsuffering persistence, the gift of hope given by the Barrier Smashing God, who did not let the splendor of Heaven keep Him from the cross and tomb, that I pray for!

I believe God has given a vision for a sober-living community of faith, in which men will become equipped to help others find that same transformative hope for their lives. There are many moments when things become shaky. Moments of difficulty and challenge. Interpersonal challenges present difficulties and finances become daunting, but we hold on to the unshakable truth that God is Good!

This week we will welcome a new resident. He comes just as one fellow has decided to leave. We pray that God will bless both.

On Saturday January 28th  we will be hosting another “Breakfast & a Message of Hope!” I will be speaking on the subject “Hope in the Seemingly Hopeless.”

On Thursday February 2 we begin a series of 9 Thursdays on “Life’s Healing Choices”. Fittingly we will look at Romans chapter 7 on Ground Hog Day as we explore the “Endless Loop of Hurt.” We will then spend a week on each of the chapters of the book “Life’s Healing Choices.”

The guys are working on their testimonies, and we will be looking for opportunities for them to share in the days ahead.

Today one of the guys thought I was a bit ‘down’  and took special care to take me aside and share a word of encouragement. It is such a blessing to see those who have received, so freely giving!