"So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God,
you will receive what he has promised.
For in just a very little while,
He who is coming will come and will not delay."
(NIV 2 Corinthians 5.17-18 Grand Rapids: Zondervan. 1984)
"I promise, Mom--I promise I'll be good!" The little boy pleaded with his mother. "Please don't punish me....please? I want that video game so bad..."
It started when Tommy was a little boy. His mother was a single parent, and worked 2 jobs--sometimes 3--just to make ends meet. Tommy's father was killed in a horrible car accident by a drunk driver last New Year's Eve.
"Oh, all right. I'll get it for you. But you better behave!"
They were shopping the after-Christmas sales, when the stores unloaded all their Christmas items at super-reduced prices.
It was all Tommy's mother could afford.
Tommy usually had his way with his mother--he could manipulate her to conform to his will just by begging in the right way--the tone of voice, the stomping of feet and, of course, the dramatic, animated chopping hand gestures--he always got to her.
Later, Tommy's mother talked to him at a local fast-food restaurant over lunch.
"Some day Tommy, you're going to grow up and you will realize you can't have everything you want."
"You'll see. I promise."
Flash-forward twenty years: Tommy had made a wreck of his life, always striving for whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted it.
Addicted to drugs, his body was a mess.
As he laid passed-out on a broken, ripped-up maroon leather couch, his cell phone rang, again and again.
Finally he woke up enough to answer it.
His mother was in the hospital emergency room, suffering from a severe stroke.
Tommy lived close-by, so he ran, pulling on his designer jacket in the chilly New Year's Day air.
He rushed into the E.R. yelling, "Oh my God! Lord, please don't let my mom die. Please... please?"
Crying, Tommy desperately begged for his mother's life, and promised God he would give his life to Him.
When Tommy promised God--she recovered--long enough to see Tommy set free...
Prayer: "Father, help me realize You will provide what I need, according to Your promises."