This is now my second letter to you. I have written both as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.
Above all, you must understand in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this coming he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the word of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgement and destruction of the ungodly.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousands years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understands slowness. Instead, he is longsuffering with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
Four weeks ago I started my son on a bedwetting system called, “Chummie.” It is a fantastic little device that has a sensor that will beep when it gets wet to wake you up. After a few weeks their brain begins to recognize that they are not supposed to pee while sleeping, and that knowledge leads to them waking up before wetting the bed. I am a huge fan of the system but definitely not the process. The process is long. The process is worse than any newborn I have ever dealt with.
Chummie doesn’t just beep, it flashes lights and vibrates while it screeches at a horribly loud volume in the middle of the night. Amazingly the only person in this house of six people who actually wake up to chummie’s screams in the dark of night, is me. Everyone else manages to sleep through this, including the child laying in his own pee. So I called the company and I was told that even though he is sleeping through it in the beginning, if I wake him, the process will still be effective. So that is what I did.
The first week it went off anywhere from 3-5 times. Beep, vibrate, flash…. beep, vibrate, flash… The second week we were down to 2-3 times a night…. beep, vibrate, flash. The third week was our vacation and by then we were down to only one pee each night. This is great news but by week three even one time, is too much. I was exhausted. I was cranky. I despised that little white square. Then came the night that it beeped four times. At that point I was murderous. Mama really really needed a full nights sleep.
So the next night as I sat my sleepy son down to pee on the toilet I begged him to get it all out. I begged him to pee until he had no pee left. I was cranky with him. This wasn’t the nice, cheerful pleading that I had in the beginning…. this was the bribe, threaten and be stern begging that meant I couldn’t handle it any more but then I realized something. He was just as tired as I was. He wanted to stop as much as I wanted him to stop but he couldn’t. He was doing the best he could and I wasn’t.
So I sat in front of him while he was sitting on the toilet, I took his hands, and I prayed. I prayed for strength. I prayed that he could do this. I prayed that chummie would work. I prayed that Jesus would take control of this situation and that we would have a good sleep. Then when I was done, I told him to pray to Jesus and he did.
That night he didn’t pee. The next night he didn’t pee. The third night he was woken before he peed and went to the bathroom. The fourth night he stopped mid-pee and went to the bathroom. The fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth nights the bed was dry.
So as I thought about writing this blog, I knew that I wanted to write about long-suffering. The first time I read that word, I didn’t understand the meaning. Why would anyone want to suffer for a long time?
I am not good at longsuffering. I am actually terrible at it. I prefer immediate results but in the last seven years I have learned that patience is learned, not just given. I have learned that sometimes you suffer long because the goal is worth it. Sometimes you suffer because you know that when you get to what you are working towards, the sunrise is brighter, the trees are greener, and water tastes better than it ever has before.
Don’t give up!
If you are trying to get out of debt and scraping every penny, don’t give up!
If you are trying to be healthy because you have let your health slide, don’t give up!
If you are trying so hard to keep your faith that Jesus is with you, don’t give up!
His promises are true, and even though we cannot see the big picture, we need to trust that he has designed our path that will give us hope and a future better than we could have imagined for ourselves. We can suffer long because He is suffering through it with us.