New International Version (NIV)
Where I most need it, I am tested most also.
Way back in 1997, I had the privilege of knowing a special lady. We worked together in one of our church's church planting. They were a missionary couple who volunteered to join us in this new ground. They came from Nebraska.
With them we learned so many things. I have been into trainings and seminars on evangelism but it is by their example in the fields, that I learned the most.
We went together for outreach, used every openings there were available, including the Samaritan's Purse's Christmas Child gift boxes. Included in these boxes are tracts for child evangelism and materials for sharing. We knocked on doors and came in armed with these bundles. We saw the smiles and the joys in the children's eyes as they opened their gifts. Along with this we came into their homes bringing Jesus and God's love. And more parents knew Jesus in these encounters.
They also taught us how to handle Small groups using their own simple method. I kept in my heart our Motto, "People over Program," which mattered the most. This has given me courage and confidence to lead under their tutelage.
This lady exuded so much gentleness, which was so achingly lacking in me. There are times I spark and flare at a provocation. Although oftentimes, I am able to contain it inside.... still I flare inside. Being held back never excuses me of submitting to anger.
I began to wish I am more gentle, like my mentor. And Oh, she also had the grace to enroll me for free in a class for Counseling. She so wanted me to join the class offered in our Bible School under one of their Missionary colleagues. So I did too.
And so my journey for gentleness began. I slipped so many times. Countless times.
Inside I still am not that which I so desire. The enemy has, always, a new ploy to set up in my road. He puts roadblocks and even a mountain too high to climb up...... there, up there, lies my GENTLENESS pedestal, set so high, I don't think I can tackle it halfway.
Just last night, I struck a raw surface with my precious son, who is graduating from the Alternative Learning System today. Of course, I am rejoicing and have danced in thanksgiving to the Lord, for it is an answered prayer. He is an academically challenged guy which could have been better home-schooled.
And now he is going to parade among the 700 or so proud ALS graduate. They come in all walks and ages, but under the same challenge. Some had to work for the family and dropped out while some never really had a formal schooling due to varied reasons.
He came home late last night while I was in bed already. He needed to find his black shoes to wear with the Toga and black pants. So there, the spark kindled and I went off..... inside, mind you, I did not have the power to flare on the outside, knowing he is in the JOY of his life state.... knowing that he has given me my most HOPED-for-a long time event. ..... silently but surely, flared I went up. He did not look for the missing shoes during the day but had chosen to do on the last minute.
Thanks God, I found it this morning..... what with my memory needing an upgrade. Hah..... sigh!
And Oh for gentleness..... I seek and I slip and I seek again, with Your help, Oh God!