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Friday, September 28, 2012

The Benefits Of Forbearance

The ability to refuse or refrain from becoming angry with people who deliberately annoy you is forbearance. You feel the pain, you feel hurt, but you tell yourself that you are not going to get
angry by way of yelling and raining curses. 

You are running late for work and in your rush to get to the office early, a reckless driver just rams his car into yours. You come from a very tiresome outing and decide to take a short nap, that is when the kids want you  to do just everything for them or they won't let you have peace in that room. They try to do things that will keep you from resting. Things like shouting at each other, crying over every little provocation, playing rough and just dropping things loudly so that you hear the loud sounds. 

Your colleague knows that you do not like distractions when it is not time for break, but the only time she comes to ask for things is when you are trying to concentrate.

Your friend says things, and does things to get you angry. Tries to pull your buttons, to see your reactions. 
How do we handle situations like this? Do we satisfy the offender by losing it?  It is natural to get angry when we are provoked. It is also natural to let others know that we are not fools.

Do you know why some people deliberately try to annoy you? Do you know why some people say things that they know will hurt your feelings? They do this so that they can fight you.

Isaac was a man of Patience and Forbearance, he tried his best to ignore the Philistines. While he ignored them, they looked for more ways to make him fight them, so that they can find reasons to chase him away. Isaac was a wise man. He felt the pain. Who wouldn't? A farmer's basic need is water. His family, animals and even crops need this water to survive, but each time his men dig a well, the Philistines go there and fill the well with sand. After filing  the well with sand, they wait to see his reaction.

I love Isaac's reaction. I love his wisdom. He leaves them, moves to a different location and digs another well. Does that make him a weakling? No. Does that make him stupid? No it doesn't. He did not forget that he was enjoying a privilege that could be taken away if he is not wise.

The men who came to cover up his wells were not really interested in the wells. Their reasons for filling the wells with sand were not that they wanted those plots of land. 

Isaac was blessed. He became a rich farmer. He had so much. his cattle, sheep and goats were increasing in multiples. You see why they covered his wells with sand.

ONE REASON WHY YOU ARE HURT
You are doing great like Isaac did. You are happy, you are healthy, you have a seemingly happy family. Someone is not comfortable with your happy mood and like the Philistines, tries to see that you frown, that you cry, that you are complaining too. 

Isaac was greatly hurt by those Philistines. They were envious of his wealth. They wanted to fight him so that they can create reasons that will enable them take away his property.  They tried to annoy him so that he will fight with them. They destroyed what he needed most at that point in time, and that is water.  They knew that both his family and cattle needed water desperately, that is why they went after his wells to ensure that they get him so angry that he raises an army to fight them. The few men who come to destroy the wells obviously had a back-up somewhere. Only few came to hurt him. If he had raised a finger against those few men. That would have given the whole kingdom a reason to remind him that he was a Sojourner and to probably send him away empty handed.  

The wise man quietly counseled himself and took his wealth elsewhere.  Do you know that they always always traced him to his new place to make trouble?  Each time he moved, he asked God for protection. Because he had confident in God's protection, it worked for him. God protected him by giving him the wisdom that he needed for that moment and for a time like that. 

THE END RESULT:
When they saw that all their efforts had failed them, they realized that they could not make him fight them. He won't stop moving away from them to avoid a bitter confrontation and an eventual war. 

Do you know what this trouble makers later did? They came looking for him to ask for forgiveness. They pleaded with Isaac whom they were threatening. He did not fight them. He did not hurt the men who filled his wells with sand. He knew that God fights all battles for those who truly put their trust in him. Who got the upper hand in the end? Isaac the sojourner did. God's ways are mysterious! King Abimelech and his people asked Isaac for forgiveness. They became friends and lived in peace.  

When a man's ways please the lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him! 

Forbearance brings peace. Peace is health, health is wealth.

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