The Hardest Part Of Faith Is…..

We sure have become an “instant society.”

There has been a technology ‘explosion’ going on for awhile now, and some say we will be amazed where it leads! But have you noticed as I have, as things like instant messaging and other technologies that allow people to accomplish more faster than ever, many say they have less time than they’ve ever had? As I watch how people respond to everything from cel phone reception and check-out lanes in the stores, or even the drive-thru window at a “fast food” restaurant….. people seem almost terrified at the thought of having to wait for anything…… Even though the technology “explosion” is relatively new, the concept of not wanting to wait is not new at all…..

In 1963, my all-time favorite TV Show, “The Andy Griffith Show”, aired an episode called: “Man In A Hurry”. The setting was that a man named “Mr Tucker” from Raleigh, had his car break down outside of Mayberry on a Sunday. Mr Tucker walks into the deserted town of Mayberry-deserted because it’s Sunday and everything is closed except for the church!

As church “lets-out” and Mr Tucker meets Sheriff Andy Taylor and explains his problem, Andy takes him to Wally’s house-the owner of the service station, because Wally doesn’t work on Sundays. Well, Wally is pretty sure the problem is a clogged fuel line—“an easy fix, should only take an hour, I’ll do it first thing in the morning.” Mr Tucker storms off Wally’s porch, because “he can’t wait.”

Mr Tucker ends up at Andy’s house, but refuses to sit and eat dinner with them—he needs to walk the floor and make something happen—he’s in a hurry! As he’s pacing the floor, he keeps trying to use the phone, but he can’t because the whole town always agrees to let “the Mendlebright sisters” use the town party-line all Sunday afternoon. When he hears the sisters talking about their feet going to sleep, he “blows off some more steam”! He says: “You people are living in a different world! Men are orbiting the earth! International Television has been developed, and here a whole town is standing still because two old women’s feet fall asleep!” He ends up “walking the porch” for quite awhile at Andy’s house and after awhile, Gomer and Goober start working on his car.

Finally, Mr Tucker sits in a chair on the porch while Andy is playing his guitar and softly singing an old hymn with Barney harmonizing. For the first time, Mr Tucker starts learning to wait. He’s actually relaxing and starting to enjoy himself as the family prepares to have him spend the night (southern hospitality). Suddenly, Gomer returns his car, all ready to go and Mr Tucker jumps right back into the “Man In A Hurry” mode!

As he’s in his car getting ready to leave and looking at the happy, content faces, he pauses and jumps out of the car and says to Gomer: “listen to that engine”. Gomer says: “slick ain’t it?” Mr Tucker doesn’t agree and thinks it sounds terrible! He then looks at Andy and slowly says: “Don’t you think maybe I should wait till morning and let Wally look at it?

Mr Tucker was learning to wait, and even enjoy the wait!

There might be some who would complete the title of this blog with the word ‘believing’. But when it comes to believing in God in relation to your faith….. either you believe or you don’t.

In my life….. The Hardest Part Of Faith Is…..Learning To Wait.

I don’t want to repeat a lot of things I’ve said in previous blogs, but throughout my 20’s and 30’s I had to slowly watch many of my plans, hopes and dreams for my life fade away. Hundreds and thousands of prayers for my (now late) wife Laura, for years seemed to be answered no. But….. a lot of that time, the answer was actually wait….. I had a lot to learn. And I think just like Mr Tucker, sometimes we have to learn how to wait-and it sure doesn’t come easy!

If we read much about the Apostle Paul, we will soon find out that he went through more pain and suffering than most of us will ever experience. Yet, in spite of-or perhaps, because of all the pain and suffering, he wrote the following to be recorded in God’s Word to encourage us!

”Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”  Philippians 4:11
I don’t know how long Paul had to wait….. but he did find contentment….. and when you find contentment….. you have it all!

But there has has to be purpose involved with our waiting for it to really be part of our faith…..
”I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5

You see, when I said that “throughout my 20’s and 30’s, I had to slowly watch many of my plans, hopes and dreams for my life fade away”….. Do you see anything missing from a statement like that?

I do….. It was my plans….. my hopes….. my dreams….. for my life. What about God’s Plan for my life….. that’s why I said I had a lot to learn.
It was in the waiting where I truly learned to cherish my wife.
It was in the waiting where I learned to become the best caregiver I could possibly be.
It was in the waiting where I learned to think more about others than I ever had before.
It was in the waiting where I learned contentment.

Because….. It was in the waiting where I surrendered my plans, hopes and dreams.    Then through prayer and reading God’s Word, I started seeking what God wanted for my life. And you know what happened?

That’s where I slowed down, enjoyed the wait, and found contentment!

And you know what else I’ve discovered………….God has continued to have much more in store for me than I ever, ever could have planned, hoped or dreamed of!

Till Next Time…..

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