“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer”—Romans 12:12 (ESV).
Straight-line winds, reported up to 100 miles per hour, hail and several tornadoes toppled trees and power poles, ripped off roofs and sparked structure fires across Oklahoma on June 18. Over 350,000 power outages were reported across 20 counties.
Oklahoma electric companies worked day and night to restore the power. Help arrived when power company employees from other states assisted in restoring electricity. Almost 1,000 across the state were still without power 10 days later.
I’m blessed because my electricity was restored after 13 hours. Others in my community had to wait almost a week because large trees in parts of Claremore had toppled onto electric lines, requiring more manpower. Many, who were still in the dark, used social media to complain about the lack of electricity, criticizing the workers for not responding faster. I cringed at the negative responses, and thought, “Do we ever learn to be patient?”
Being Patient in Tribulation
I can understand the frustration of being without power. However, we’ve become so accustomed to flipping a switch and having light that I believe we take for granted what is considered a luxury in areas of the world without.
In 2008, I went on my first mission trip to Rio Bravo, Mexico. Our projects while there included constructing a 16 x 20 cinder block house for a couple with three young daughters. When finished, the house had two doors, three windows, and a loft where the three girls could sleep.
There was no running water, no electricity, and no kitchen area to prepare their meals or a bathroom to take care of their needs. Their previous house was smaller than my walk-in closet. But what I saw on the parents’ faces as we finished and dedicated their new home to the Lord was priceless. They couldn’t speak English but their smiles revealed gratitude and joy.
Being Joyful in Hope
During the Apostle Paul’s three-month stay in Corinth, and in anticipation of a future visit to Rome, he composed the epistle we now know as Romans. Seeking the blessing of the Christians in Rome, Paul wrote to them about the great news of the gospel.
In addition to the exhortation in Romans 12:12, Paul encourages the Romans in verse 13 to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
While some complained about their lack of electricity and were not patient, others practiced hospitality and shared with those in need. May we take to heart Paul’s advice and continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Oh, and Lord, help us to be patient with others.
After a 30-year teaching career, Carol Round found redirection as a Christian columnist, author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of nine books, all available at Amazon.com. See her website at www.carolaround.com for more information.