My wife and I have some close friends that teach us a lot about patience, and persistence by the kind of example they display in their daily lives. They have always incorporated a kindness to people that demonstrates a willingness to go the extra mile in pursuing relationships, even when those relationships are often hostile toward them. The example learned of course, is that we see God at His best when we have persevered and God infuses Himself into the outcome.
I have another friend who has stomach cancer and has been in the process of dying for over a year. It is a slow growing cancer, so he has had time to adjust to various changes in his body, as well as his acceptance that his days are really numbered. He is demonstrating to those who know him, how to die in a gracious manner, no anger, no regrets, he has accepted his death as an act of God. The lesson learned, is that God is in control of our lives here on earth, and nothing happens to us without God being aware. God is always present, and nothing surprises Him about our lives.
His gracious attitude has touch all of us who meet with him every other week, because he continues to live life to the fullest, continuing to pursuing God with an open heart. Death is not getting the best of his life, he is using this time to live out his life better than he ever has, and it is a lesson I am watching in real time.
There are many lessons I am learning as I observe the examples around me. Many people get stuck in how they see themselves, they stop learning, exploring, and changing, afraid to trust God for His direction. I love all the stories Jesus told making them into lessons from His day. My favorite is the story of the Rich Young Ruler. Here was a guy who had it all, he was religious, well bred, wealthy, and yet he was not satisfied with who he was or what he had. Jesus used him as an example to remind us that life is not lived in what you have, but in how you use it. The Rich Young Ruler seemed to have everything, yet Jesus said he lacked something. That something was his unwillingness to serve God with all that he had. He is an example of many people who claim to know God, but refuse to serve Him with their whole being. The interesting part of this story for me was that Jesus did not trail after him convincing him he was making a mistake by walking away. No one knows of course what happen to the Rich Young Ruler, but like so many people who life unfulfilled, and unhappy lives, they continue that way until they die. Jesus gave this young man a way to be fulfilled, but his riches, reputation, even his religious practice, prevented him from leaving everything and following Jesus.
I wonder today, how much of your life is like the Rich Young Ruler? Too many connections to this world to allow it all to go and in return follow Jesus unequivocally?
Examples of amazing people are all around us, people who are not willing to allow anything in this world to deter them from giving everything to serve God.
I want the patience of God, and the perseverance of God to rule my life, I hope these lessons from real people will also help you to start asking some life changing questions. Maybe start by asking what is preventing the life God intended you to live from happening?
Keeping it honest and truthful...K