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Michel: Inherit what is promised through patience

For the first time ever, I have satsuma trees in my backyard.

Those two small trees might go unnoticed any other time of year, but currently the orange fruit that dot their branches draws my attention daily.

Last month my brother Matt was visiting when I plucked one of the almost ripe satsumas from the branch.

“It’s too early to eat them,” he said.

I admitted that the fruit wasn’t quite sweet, but didn’t let that stop me from picking another one.

“Ronny,” he continued. “Wait. After the first cold snap, the fruit will be sweeter. You have to be patient.”

I decided to try Matt’s theory and was rewarded with sweeter fruit.

Patience is not high on the list of my positive character traits. When I looked up “patient” in the dictionary, I found out that it doesn’t just mean waiting. Webster’s first definition of the word is “bearing pains or trials calmly or without complaint.”

Clearly, waiting for fruit to ripen is not a trial; however, it does reveal a part of my character in which I seem to be continually challenged. And now I find out that I should wait without complaining.

When waiting for an answer to prayer, or the fulfillment of one of God’s promises in the Bible, there’s one verse that never fails to soothe my restless soul. In Hebrews 6:12 we are encouraged “…to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.”

I’ll have a whole year to see if I am patient enough to wait for the next crop of satsumas. Hopefully by then, I’ll have also learned to combine patience with my faith when I pray.

Ronny Michel may be reached at rmichel@rtconline.com.