Patient endurance

With people unable to see their spouses, children or grandchildren in isolation, the COVID crisis is proving to be a test of endurance—just like the Christian journey.

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Pam and I are waiting for the South Australian border to be open to people from New South Wales. We look forward to holding our first granddaughter Teyah, for the first time. COVID-19 has created more waiting: in job queues, for testing, for lockdown measures to change and for the elusive vaccine.

Online connection and marketing suggests we do not have to wait for anything but that’s a fallacy—a godless illusion. We wait for a solution to a problem, a relationship to be reconciled, a body to recover from injury or illness, our internet speed to increase, an exam result, the season for our favourite fruit. The best things are worth waiting for. I know others who have not held their grandchildren because of the pandemic separation. Two of my colleagues have not seen their wives since March because they serve in different countries. What was to be a few weeks’ separation has turned into months.

Waiting is a test of endurance or perseverance. These characteristics are only developed through an extended challenge.

Adventists have been waiting for millennia—waiting to see Jesus (Luke 12:35-40). We expect to see Him soon. He will right all wrongs, make all things new, create light from darkness, rest out of chaos. Paul said, “We hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25). The Psalmist echoes: “Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let you heart take courage; wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 27:14). Jesus said: “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

An Adventist disciple of Jesus has grown in God’s waiting room—“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).