The Savior...Who Didn't Seem to Care
Patience is one of the most desirable assets known to the human race. Unfortunately, most people do not possess it. Impetuous and demanding, people want things to happen quickly. Paul Lee Tan, in his invaluable book of illustrations, tells the story of a mission board that met in 1853 to discuss the closing of a station in Ongole, India. The ministry there had not been too productive for over a period of fifteen years: only ten natives had been won for Christ. Those comprised the complete membership of the Ongole church, which was called "The Lone Star" of India. The directors believed their money would be used more efficiently elsewhere.
Samuel Smith, a member of the board wrote a few lines of poetry that he read at the meeting:
Shine on, Lone Star, in grief or tears,
And sad reverses all baptised:
Shine on amid thy founder's tears
Lone stars in Heaven are not despised.
Having appreciated Smith's sentiments, the members decided unanimously to continue the work. Thirty years later that same church had grown to fifteen thousand members. Impatience might have prevented a glorious expansion of the kingdom of God in India. Jesus also was a visionary who looked beyond disappointments to ultimate triumphs. He was exceptionally wise in all His words and deeds, but occasionally it was difficult to understand what He was contemplating. Christ was an exception to the oft-repeated lines:
Patience is a virtue;
Possess it if you can;
It is seldom found in women,
And never in a man.
The Strange Persuasion . . . Directing
The beach was crowded with weary people who should have been at home. They were tired but excited for they had seen Jesus feeding thousands of hungry people with five loaves and two fishes. A small boy's lunch had been used to provide a banquet. But night was approaching; children should be in their beds, and even parents needed rest. The disciples vainly tried to disperse ...
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