Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. – James 1:3
After I graduated high school, I stayed overseas with my parents for 6 more months until the following December.
During that time I tutored two elementary students. One of them was a little fourth grade Korean named Jung Sub. He struggled with English, so the biggest challenge with tutoring him was obviously communication.
I had to repeat myself multiple times and rephrase things to make him understand.
One day he started off in the worst mood I had ever seen him in. He came into the library alone, when he usually came in with his father.
“Hi, Jung Sub. How are you today?” I asked as he stormed into the building.
“Very bad.” He said with his Korean accent.
The librarian laughed and I made a face.
“Why?” I asked, “Did you have a hard day?”
He ignored me and stomped off upstairs where we always had our sessions together.
Oh great, I thought while I followed him. This is gonna be a long session.
I asked him to find for me the page his math homework was on for that day. He tore through the book and I worried that he might rip a page.
God, please give me patience, I remember praying silently.
God answered my prayer that day, because the longer Jung Sub and I worked together that day, the more his mood improved.
He even kicked off his shoes at some point.
After we finished his math homework we worked on his book report of the children’s book ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’.
He decided to make a book jacket. He explained to me in broken English about when Winn-Dixie is first found by Opal in the store (or market as Jung Sub called it).
“She’s in market. How spell Winn-Dixie?” he wrote out the letters as I told him at the top of the piece of paper. Then he started to draw, “Here’s apples, oranges. Lots of fruit. And, here, dog. And girl.”
He then tries to explain to me about Opal’s surprise at seeing a dog in the ‘market’ and then how he wants her to fall into the fruit.
He gave up trying to explain and, instead, stood up from his seat to demonstrate for me.
He gasped in mock surprise and then falls over dramatically. He stood up again, laughing, and I laugh with him.
By the end of the session he is in an incredibly good mood. What started off as his worst day yet turned out to be one of the most fun times we had had together.
This reminded me of how patient God is with us and how patient we should be with Him.
Everyday may not be your best day, but keep praying and practicing patience.
When things aren’t going how you want them to, be patient, and trust God to create the perfect ending!