Use It Before You Lose It
By Fr Thomas Hanna
We need to learn how to be patient… when do we need to be patient? We learn this from James 5:7?
“Therefore be patient brethren until the coming of the Lord see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain.”
When do we need to be patient? We need to be patient when circumstances are uncontrollable! We’ve got to learn from farmers… farmers do certain things that are in their control and certain things that are not in their control. They don’t control when it rains or when the sun comes out… they don’t control these things and these things are necessities for seeds to yield a crop! Uncontrollable. Uncontrollable things! See how the farmer waits for the “precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives its early and its latter rain”? So God knows what is needed for this crop, He knows that an early rain is needed, that there needs to be sun in between, then rain again afterwards… God knows this.
We need to learn that there are certain circumstances that we need, that are often uncontrollable. For instance, how about reconciling with someone, is that always in your control? It’s not always in your control because sometimes, a person may want to reconcile with someone and sometimes that other person just doesn’t want to reconcile or is just not ready for it… uncontrollable circumstances. We have to realise that there will be certain situations in our life that will be uncontrollable. We need patience there. When else do we need patience? My brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord as an example of suffering and patience. What did the prophets do? What’s the job description of a prophet? To prophesise, to help people repent, to spread the good news, to be the voice of God. Name a famous prophet? Jonah. Jonah was a prophet. Jonah was a prophet that was sent to a city that needed repentance. Were those people, in his mind, changeable or unchangeable? Unchangeable! And that’s why he decided not to go in the beginning! We have to understand we need patience when people seem to be unchangeable! Show patience and there will be peace.
A lot of times when we’re arguing with someone and they seem that they don’t get me, they don’t understand my situation, what I tend to do is… I tend to speak louder! Because maybe they’ll understand if I speak louder, or if I speak slower and louder they’ll get it, or if I use simpler words, they’ll get it. But seriously… if I show patience in my household, there will be peace in my household. But if I don’t show patience, what’s going to happen? Things will blow up! That’s not because of others… thats because of me! So patience needs to be there when people are unchangeable.
You’ve heard of the perseverance of Job. We need patience when problems are unexplainable. Job didn’t have an explanation about what happened to him. He was the wealthiest person and then within 48 hours, he had nothing. He lost his family, his friends, his business, his health… he lost everything. It was unexplainable why things happened like that. Why did things like this happen to Job? Why did God have to put him through this? Or why did God allow it? No one can observe this and say “yeh that was a good idea God”… no one is going to say that. There’s certain things in our life, problems in our life that we won’t be able to ever explain.
When we went to Bolivia, we took a group to a disabled home, which was the last thing we were doing in Bolivia. It was very hard on us to go… we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there, the first thing we saw was disabled children that were in cages and distant… images that are really hard to forget and very hard to see. And the first question that we had was… why? Why God are you allowing this to happen? Why do they still exist? Like why don’t you cut their lives short and let them live in heaven with you where there’s no grief and no sorrow and no groaning, why wouldn’t You let that happen?
That was our first question. Unexplainable. These are things that are unexplainable, because there is nothing that God could tell me right now and say, I’ve done this, I’ve allowed this to happen to this child for this reason and I would go “wow, that is a great reason.” There’s nothing. Because we would always find a reason to say “that’s not a good reason” or “there’s a different way to do things” and a lot of us struggle with the idea of – God why are you doing it that way?
Recently, we’ve been speaking to some of the youth and their questions are going back to “Why did God even create the tree of knowledge?” Why did He put that tree there if He knew we were going to fall? Why did He put it there? Doesn’t He love us?”
And all these questions are coming, and sometimes we have to understand that there’s going to be problems in this world. We live in a broken world, and it’s not going to be explainable. We can try as much as we can to explain it, but at a certain point, we’ve got to just say “Okay God. I accept and I’m going to cooperate with You.” So why be patient? Why patience? Because God is in control.