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November 4, 2022

Let us run with patience. (Hebrews 12:1) 

Running with patience is a very difficult thing to do. The work "running" itself suggests the absence of patience, or an eagerness to reach the goal. Yet we often associate patience with lying down or standing still.  We think of it as an angel who guards the bed of the disabled.  Yet I do not believe that the kind of patience a disabled person may have is the hardest to achieve.

There is another kind of patience that I believe is harder to obtain----the patience that runs.  Lying down during a time of grief, or being quiet after a financial setback, certainly implies great strength, but I know of something that suggests even greater strength---- the power to continue working after a setback, the power to still run with a heavy heart, and the power to perform your daily tasks with deep sorrow in your spirit.  This is a Christlike thing!  

Many of us could tearlessly deal with our grief if only we were allowed to do so in private.  Yet what is so difficult is that most of us are called to exercise our patience not in bed but in the open street, for all to see.  We are called upon to bury our sorrow not in restful inactivity but in service----in our workplace, while shopping, and during social events---contributing to other people's joy.  No other way of burying our sorrow is as difficult as this, for it is truly what is meant by running "with patience."

Dear Son of Man, this was Your kind of patience.  It was both waiting and running at one time----waiting for the ultimate goal while in the meantime doing lesser work.  I see You at Cana of Galilee, turning water into wine so the marriage feast would not be ruined.  I see You in the desert feeding the multitude with bread, simply to relieve a temporary need, yet all the time You were bearing a mighty grief----not shared or spoken.  Others may ask for a "rainbow in the clouds" (Gen. 9:13), but I would ask for even more from You.  Make me, in my cloud, a rainbow bringing the ministry of joy to others.  My patience will only be perfect when it works in Your vineyard.  George Matheson

When all our hopes are gone,
It is best our hands keep toiling on
For others' sake:
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache.

Streams in the Desert
So hard to pick a story out of so many.... 
Years ago, I taught Sunday School.  There were usually 20 or more students in my class.  One day a boy named Rayme came into class.  He was a handful.  He would not join in with the class and continually walked around our circle of kids sitting on the floor for story time.  He stayed quiet so I let him just circle hoping to lure him in.  I was still trying to teach the rest of the class with fun input.  Finally, class was over, and the parents came to pick up kids.  Rayme's mom came in and asked how Rayme behaved.  I said he was great and hoped he liked the class.  I will never forget the relief on his mom's face or the look on his.  The following Sundays he continued to pace but got closer and closer till eventually he sat down and became part of the group.  He turned into my most memorable student.  We still say to this day when God gives us a difficult child to deal with, 'Remember Rayme' and we know that this is where we will see the hand of God most clearly. I was a new Christian at the time and my running with patience has grown into harder races, but I thank God for every one of them. I keep learning.

Lord, Help us to bring glory to You with every victory you give us. Help us not to just start the race but to finish it. Again, Lord, we pray for each and every student at Faith and for all of the staff to be seeing this race through your eyes.  Amen
We want you to know that you are an important part of the Faith Family! As grandparents, you act as a source of encouragement, support, wisdom, and unconditional love for our students. It is our desire to encourage you and connect with you further through this prayer ministry. These weekly emails will be written by a couple who have been faithful members of this school for decades, Jim and Sue Venters. We hope that through this brief devotional and shared prayers, the grandparents of FCS students will form a community in Christ, joining together in the shepherding of our beloved children and grandchildren. 
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