Luther Seminary God Pause
Sunday, 6/22/2014 Hymn: "O Master, Let Me Walk with You," ELW 818
O Master, let me walk with you in lowly paths of service true; tell me your secret; help me bear the strain of toil, the fret of care.
Help me the slow of heart to move by some clear, winning word of love; teach me the wayward feet to stay, and guide them in the homeward way.
Teach me your patience; share with me a closer, dearer company, in work that keeps faith sweet and strong, in trust that triumphs over wrong,
In hope that sends a shining ray far down the future's broad'ning way, in peace that only you can give; with you, O Master, let me live.>
So-called "Bible verses" that are not actually in the Bible are often quoted as if they were scripture. One such verse, definitely not in the Bible, has been quoted to me on several occasions by various and sundry people: "Never ask God for patience. He doesn't give it to you, he teaches you." Of course, they are speaking from the wisdom of experience. Yet, what is the alternative? To be content with impatience? I don't think so.
I love the fact that H. Percy Smith, the author of this hymn, has enough wisdom to know that patience is not only taught, but that we would be much happier students if we also desired it. Yes, there is a certain amount of pain involved in this learning process. If we are good learners, at the end of the day, patience prevails.
When all is said and done, I am going to take the risk and pray for patience. I know God's methods with me may involve a certain amount of pain. But one thing I know, from experience, the lack of patience is far more painful.
Lord, please teach me patience. Make me a good student willing to endure the pain of this request in order to experience the pleasure of this virtue. Amen.
Jeff Gross Pastor, Living Lord Lutheran Church, Lakewood Ranch, Fla. Master of Divinity, 1994
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