In Haiti, where I grew up, one of the common local sayings was “with patience you can see the ant’s tripe (intestine).

My family’s financial situation, while somewhat better than a large portion of the population, was not that great, and we often lacked many necessities. My poor mother, God bless her soul, was a woman of faith who always hoped for better days for her and her family. She will very often use that saying when one of my brothers, or I, would ask for something that she could not afford. It was a way to express her hope that somehow things would get better for us and she would be able to give us what we had asked for. But more importantly it was her way to teach us about patience, the patience that would make it possible even to see the ant’s tripe. The ant’s tripe? I would incredulously repeat to myself.

Most often, you can hardly see the ant, that is until it bites you. “How in the world can you see its tripe?” I would ask my mom. “Patience, my son” she would say, “Patience.”

One of the most captivating stories of patience in the Bible is that of Job, a wealthy man of upright character who loves God. Yet God allows Satan to destroy his flocks, his possessions, his children, and his health. But Job refuses to give up on God. He showed the kind of trust we ought to have. Trust and patience are the two components of my mother’s hope, the kind of hope that keeps us going even when things are at their bleakest.
In the book of Isaiah, chapter 40:31 we read: “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not get weary; they will walk and never faint.”

The word hope implies both trust and patience. Trust involves confidence in God’s power to deliver, and faith that he will keep his promises. Hoping in the Lord implies the patience to wait for God’s promises since God works according to his own timing and not ours. “God may not come when we want, but He is always on time” the saying goes.

I have not been able even after all these years to see the ant’s tripe, an indication, I must confess that my patience is still lacking. But I continue to work at it, and I encourage all whose patience, just like mine, may be lacking to do the same. Who knows? Let us not forget that with God, all things are possible.

Let us pray. Gracious and loving God, we give you thanks and praise for all that you have done and continue to do in our lives. Your faithfulness endures forever. Omniscient God, Jehovah Jireh, our provider; you have always provided for us, if not what we want, always what we need. Teach us, O God, the patience to wait on you when our prayers stay unanswered, and our requests not granted. Even so, O God teach us to faithfully wait on you the All-Wise God, trusting and believing that indeed, no one who waits on you, no one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame. Amen.

Written by Rev. Franck Aguilh





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