Patient Endurance in the Pandemic

It has often seemed puzzling that people in the hospital are called, “patients,” when it’s so difficult to have any. Patience is hard to come by, but one thing that COVID-19 has taught us is sometimes we have to wait. The whole world has turned into a hospital of sorts, and we’re getting impatient! Many people’s patience is running thin: Presidents, governors, politicians and all kinds of people are going stir crazy to get “normal” life going again. Our quarantine situation reminds me of Revelation 14:12 when the early Christians were being persecuted. They were encouraged by these words, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of God’s saints…”

Patient endurance, determination, and hope are so needed right now! Many of us feel somewhat helpless and powerless in the changing landscape of our lives. Tornadoes and storms have added more on top of what most can bear. Our spirits are downcast, and it feels like Easter didn’t last near long enough. But, if Easter means anything, it means that Jesus’ resurrection gives us victory, not just over death, but also over the coronavirus, and everything else. Easter gives us hope that lasts well beyond Holy Week. It is eternal!

Easter is what gives God’s saints “patient endurance.” Easter hope inspires us to hang in there, to keep praying and not give up. Faith that only flourishes when times are good is fickle and transitory. Just two days ago the echo was heard: “The Lord is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” If it is my profession of faith that Jesus is alive, then I need to get my act together. Easter changes much more than COVID-19 ever will. It’s up to us to act like it!  Patient endurance is more than a hopeful fantasy if Jesus is really king. The hurting world around us and the Lord Christ above us deserve better than half-hearted Hallelujahs that last only a few days.

There’s a good story that captures this sentiment. There was a band of minstrels who traveled from town to town playing music to make a living. Times were hard, like now, and they were getting depressed and dejected because fewer and fewer people showed up to listen. Early one evening when they usually set up to start playing, their situation spilled over into their conversation. All but the oldest suggested that they not perform. “What difference would it make?” one asked. Another said, “Last night we performed for only a handful. Fewer will come tonight.” Yet another said, “How can anyone do his best for so few?” The youngest threw in the towel saying, “Let’s not even perform tonight. It won’t matter if we cancel the concert.”

The oldest minstrel wisely said, “I know we are all discouraged, but we have a responsibility to those who might come. It’s not their fault that others don’t show up. We will go on, and we will do the very best that we can do.” Encouraged by the words of their eldest member, they went ahead with the show. They never performed better!

When the show was over and the small crowd was gone, the oldest called his troupe to him. In his hand was a note that had been handed to him by one of the people who had been in the audience. The old man read it to himself, and then exclaimed, “Listen to this, my friends!” Something electrifying in his tone of voice made them all turn to him in anticipation. Slowly the old man read: “Thank you for a beautiful performance.” It was signed very simply – “Your King.”

God our King is watching our performance in these strange days. Our “patient endurance” will be rewarded with, “Well done, good and faithful servants.” It is not the time to give in or give up. It is time for us to be at our very best, and honor King Jesus in all things. We have an audience of friends and neighbors who desperately need us to be the Church. Mainly we have an audience of One!

8 thoughts on “Patient Endurance in the Pandemic

  1. This is encouraging! And so were the cookies our new neighbors brought us in returning our basket. 😊

    Sent from my iPhone

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  2. Thank you Tim And Cindy for all you do and all the love you show to the church family. We are so fortunate to have you both. We are looking forward to a huge “come back” in 2020 and for GOD giving us our best year yet. We have so much to be thankful for and we are truly blessed. May the love and guidence of JESUS inspire and lead you on every journey. ( Even if it’s just to the grocery store. Blessings and fist-bumps from six feet away!

    Greg Lowry

    1. Greg, I can’t wait to see you and Nancy! These are the strangest times. Busier than ever, but having to do everything in a different way. I pray, we all pray, for a cure, a stop to the virus, and a return to God and the church. Maybe a revival will come out of this. I am so ready to run the aisle and celebrate! See you soon! tim

      Sent from my iPhone

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  3. Amen and Amen!
    We need to believe the Resurrection but more important is that we live our belief in the Resurrection.
    Our Messiah Savior Jesus has won the victory so we can live a victorious and believable life!
    All praise to Him.

    (I mistakenly posted this comment under the “The Virus Didn’t Steal Easter”, but my thoughts are appropriate and true no matter which post they end up under!)

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