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Let us run with patience. (Hebrews 12: 1 KJV)


Running “with patience” is a very difficult thing to do. The word “running” itself suggests the absence of patience, or an eagerness to reach the goal. Yet we often associate patience with lying down or standing still. We think of it as an angel who guards the bed of the disabled. Yet I do not believe that the kind of patience a disabled person may have is the hardest to achieve.

There is another kind of patience that I believe is harder to obtain— the patience that runs. Lying down during a time of grief, or being quiet after a financial setback, certainly implies great strength, but I know of something that suggests even greater strength— the power to continue working after a setback, the power to still run with a heavy heart, and the power to perform your daily tasks with deep sorrow in your spirit. This is a Christlike thing!

Many of us could tearlessly deal with our grief if only we were allowed to do so in private. Yet what is so difficult is that most of us are called to exercise our patience not in bed but in the open street, for all to see. We are called upon to bury our sorrows not in restful inactivity but in active service— in our workplace, while shopping, and during social events— contributing to other people’s joy. No other way of burying our sorrow is as difficult as this, for it is truly what is meant by running “with patience.”

Dear Son of Man, this was Your kind of patience. It was both waiting and running at one time— waiting for the ultimate goal while in the meantime doing lesser work. I see You at Cana of Galilee, turning water into wine so the marriage feast would not be ruined. I see You in the desert, feeding the multitude with bread, simply to relieve a temporary need. Yet all the time, You were bearing a mighty grief— not shared or spoken. Others may ask for a “rainbow in the clouds” (Gen. 9: 13), but I would ask for even more from You. Make me, in my cloud, a rainbow bringing the ministry of joy to others. My patience will only be perfect when it works in Your vineyard.
~George Matheson

When all our hopes are gone,
It is best our hands keep toiling on
For others’ sake:
For strength to bear is found in duty done;
And he is best indeed who learns to make
The joy of others cure his own heartache.

Reference

Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 408-409). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.