Patience

Monday, June 7, 2021 11:05 AM

When I was roughly 3 or 4, my grandfather seemingly always had a bag of M&M’s in his pocket for us. They were magical to me. My brother and I had come to the sincere belief that green ones were especially magic, and somehow through conversations with my grandfather and dad believed that if I planted some of these green ones they might just grow into an M&M tree. So, one day, we planted our green ones, in a good spot in the front yard, watered them profusely and buried them with high hopes of seeing an amazing harvest of chocolate goodness. The next morning I remember rushing out to see the sprout only to be totally surprised by the amazing stalk that was standing there, complete with two branches dangling fully packaged bags of M&M’s. It was indeed a miracle to me! 


Seeds finding their way into the ground, finding the right soil, the right light, the right rate of moisture, being buried deep enough but not too deep and yet finding the right location to be broken into a whole new creation is in my eyes a tiny miracle. Yet, it happens all the time, seeds flying in the wind, seeds eaten by birds and then relocated, seeds dropping down to be buried down through the winters cold finding their way to a spot that they too can be cracked open and bring forth life anew. This is the way it was designed, beautifully arranged and choreographed into an amazing symphony that is so common we barely take note. What those little seeds undergo to bring forth the amazing life that supports the entire planets ability to eat and breathe we see as common and matter of fact. We see it as a part of a guaranteed process that brings everyday life, as easy as the rising of the sun and the pull of the tides. It is the cycle never ending that is simple, a given. We rarely notice the correlations to our own lives, how we must give ourselves and be willing to be cracked open in the dark to be able to rise stronger into the light, in order to be able to grow a process has to occur. 


Did you know that the average life of an oak tree can be more that 200 years, depending on the type? That oak may very well support millions of different lives over the course of its life and give rise to millions of new oaks to rise from its acorns. We look up into the branches and appreciate its shade, and feel its endurance but it too had to fall into the dirt, buried and cracked to bring up that strength. The patience of time of hard years and good, to develop into a mature tree that could be of such a support to all the lives around it. 


When I was a kid, I would often hear adults talking and saying, “never pray for patience, or the Lord might just teach you!”. While it was said jokingly, the essence of it stayed real, no one really wants to have learn patience. We know what learning patience means, it means being tried, it means having to wait, it means we have to sit still in the dark counting the time until we are ready to be cracked open, and deep down we all have some fears about that. Yet, patience is the fruit of the spirit that we also all long for. We know we need it desperately. We see around us how little it is grown now, how little patience we see in the world around us. We all want results right now. We all want our computers to load quickly, the traffic lights to change more quickly, for traffic to move ahead, to run faster, the lines to evaporate before us. We are a society that hates a wait.


While all faiths recognize patience as a great virtue, we are all united in our lack of desire to learn it. The ministry in the Muslim world requires more patience than most. Their soil is hard, their conditions for growth are severe, the weeds that choke are plentiful and they require much time to be broken open. They don’t grow with the miraculous speed of M&M trees, they require time and many factors to work together. As Timothy shares his story over the years, I have heard it so many times, but sometimes he remembers a character in the story who pushed just the right direction, who influenced him in some seemingly tiny way, but all of those tiny moments added up to help him be willing to be cracked open into a new life. All of those influences came together to give him enough strength to be nurtured into giving up Islam and loving Christ. None of them are absolutely responsible for his walk, but all of them are important. 


You are an important character in some Muslim’s life. Your influence may be what gives them the strength to turn some corner and begin to see things differently. That Muslim that you touch, by your support, may very well become a mighty oak of a believer who shelters many millions along their journey too. Your part is not small, but your patience must be enormous. Patience brings forth the strong. Thank you for your patience and your touch in the Muslim world, through you we are able to do what we do.

Angela Abraham

Timothy Abraham Ministries