TITLE: Enduring Faith
By Mary McLeary
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I stood on my front porch at the end of a warm August day and watched as Mother and Mike left for their home. Mother leaned lightly on her cane. At eighty-five she is blessed with style, talent and fortitude. She followed my brother who lives with her. He was leaning heavily on the walker he uses since his second amputation. Walking now requires patience for both of them. They must take their time.
We had enjoyed a good meal. One of Mike’s friends had given him several deer steaks and I had offered to cook them. Since I had never prepared wild meat, I didn’t realize the extra time it would require. Following a recipe I found on the internet, I began by marinating the steaks in water and vinegar for two hours. Next I let them sit for another 30 minutes in milk. I then added the barbeque sauce and other various ingredients and cooked them for and hour. That’s a lot of time! The refrigerator rolls took three hours to rise and the butter beans simmered for quite awhile too. But when we sat down to dinner all the flavors came together to make it a meal worth waiting for. I would not have exercised the patience the meal required if I had not had faith in the out come.
My precious mother has more faith than anyone I know. For thirty years she has prayed and waited for God to be glorified in Mike’s life, but each year has brought a new set of challenges that she has endured. With serenity she has supported him while serving God in various other ways. Until two years ago she taught a Sunday school class at her church. For several months she would leave right after teaching and drive out to a small country church and play the piano for their worship service. She is very independent of others but totally dependent on God. Her endurance is inspired by her hope in Jesus Christ so she continues to wait patiently on the Lord for Mike.
Mike’s patience is a whole other story. A gifted athlete in high school and college, he kept in top physical condition. In college he was a member of the college touring choir, a national fraternity and had many friends. After graduation he started a football program at a local high school. In his mid twenties his life became a cycle of extreme highs and lows. He seemed to lose all direction. He developed diabetes. He eventually lost his legs. He held on to his faith when he had nothing else to hang on to. He has a patient faith that gives witness to all who know him.
Yes, the really good things in life take time. A beautiful sunset doesn’t come until the end of the day. A fine wine must age. Often we take a long time to become what God wants us to be. God is very patient. He has all the time in the world.
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