RANDALL J. BREWER
My best friend was not always my best friend. At first I couldn’t stand this guy. I despised even the mentioning of his name. My skin would crawl and my stomach would turn whenever he showed up at my door. Yuck! Yuck! Why would God make this guy in the first place? Why?
The world would be a better place if he never existed. It would. It really, really would. Then one day God said to me, “I can never bless you unless this guy becomes your best friend. Get to know him well.” So began the journey of turning my worst enemy into my best friend.
I knew this was not going to be an easy task. Pain and hardship always preceded the arrival of this guy. Why couldn’t he come around on a good day? Why did he always want to come over on a day when things were going bad? I asked God this question and He answered, “Because He wants to help you.” What? My worst enemy wants to help me? What’s this all about?
The Lord continued, “Remember, I want him to become your best friend. I can’t bless you unless he is. If he’s not, hard times are all you’ll ever have in life. The choice is yours.” Okay! Okay! I get the message. Best friends, my eye! I can’t stand this guy and I don’t know anybody who does. Give me a royal break, will you?
What happened next? Yep! I have a bad day and guess who comes knocking on my front door? You guessed it, my worst enemy. I opened the door, looked at him a few seconds, and then slammed the door in his face.
Oh, I can’t stand this guy!! A few days go by and I have another bad day. Guess who shows up? As I answer the door I remember what the Lord said. I look down my nose at him and ask, “What do you want?” and he replied, “I’m here to help you.” “Oh really!?! Well, you’re a little late. Goodbye!!” Once again I slam the door in his face. The nerve of that guy, showing up at a time like this.
I put him out of my mind when suddenly my world caves in around me. I’m at wit’s end and I know not what to do. My friends are all gone, my wife is mad at me, I’m just lost my job, bill collectors are calling me night and day, and it don’t seem like God hears my prayers any more. What am I ever going to do?
I cry out, “God, why don’t You help me?” Through my sobs I hear a knock at my door. “Who on earth can that be?” Sad, rejected, and lonely I walk over and open the front door. My mouth drops open as I see my worst enemy standing there with outstretched arms. I’m too worn out from all my crying to say anything so I just hang my head in shame and cry some more.
The next thing I know my worst enemy walks up and puts his arms around me. Without realizing it I reach up and embrace him also. As I cry uncontrollable tears I feel him holding me tighter and tighter. Suddenly, a sense of comfort comes over me. What’s this? The pain is leaving. Things don’t seem as bad as they did a few moments ago.
I step back a few steps and with red eyes I look at my visitor and ask, “Who are you and what are you doing here?” He replied, “I am PATIENCE and I am here to do a perfect work. God sent me so He could bless you.” Now I understood what was happening and I stepped forward and embraced PATIENCE as hard as I could.
That day my worst enemy became my best friend and I’ve been blessed ever since. From that day forward I have clung to the message of James 1:4, “But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” The Message Bible says, “You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows it’s true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
(Note: I have included with this story the attachment of my message “The Timing Of Faith” which goes into a little bit more detail regarding the subject of patience. Hope you like it. If so, pass it on to somebody else. Thanks. God bless.).