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See Life as a Squint! (09.13.05--Heavenly Citizens!--Romans 8:25)


What is easily taught but not soon learned: easily preached, but not soon believed: good advice, but not easily followed: well spoken but hard to do?.


The answer? Patience. If there is one thing that none of us is capable of doing well it is practicing a patient, waiting attitude when it comes to the promises of God. He promises blessings if we can endure the hardships. We flinch at the hardships and forget about the goal. He teaches us endurance if only we are willing to endure the pain that will bring us up to speed as believers. We feel the pain and suddenly the prize becomes less tangible, even fleeting. Temporal things seem all too pressing to be relegated to second place. Eternal life, on the other hand, although “taught,” “preached,” “advised” and well “spoken,” is too easily forgotten when the here and now is pressing us so hard. What is the secret to being a patient Christian, focused on eternity and dedicated to getting to heaven rather than making it here on earth?


Romans 8:25 tells us to “hope for what we do not yet have” as we “wait for it patiently.” George Matheson wrote, “We commonly associate patience with lying down. We think of it as the angel that guards the couch of the invalid. Yet there is a patience that I believe to be harder -- the patience that can run. To lie down in the time of grief, to be quiet under the stroke of adverse fortune, implies a great strength; but I know of something that implies a strength greater still: it is the power to work under stress; to have a great weight at your heart and still run; to have a deep anguish in your spirit and still perform the daily tasks. It is a Christ-like thing! The hardest thing is that most of us are called to exercise our patience, not in the sickbed but in the street.” To wait is hard, to do it with “good courage” is harder! (Our Daily Bread, April 8.)


When God demands patience from us in the things of this life, there is only one way to secure that patience and make it work for you. You need to look at this life, the things that are happening all around you, with a squint. We need to practice blinking at the things that happen to us daily and opening our eyes wide and clear to that which will happen to us someday when our lives are finished. Move the “real” around, so to speak. Heaven is the real thing and life here on earth is the unreal, the unnatural, that which is not really all that promising at all. Practice squinting at the things that happen to you by day and tonight, when you kneel down to pray, open your eyes to heaven. With one hand on the tasks of the day and the other firmly grasping the hope of heaven tomorrow, God will grant you the courage to wait patiently. If only you are willing to close your eyes to the temporal and open them to the eternal.

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