This passed weekend on Friday night Maxwell Adventist Academy presented a concert of wind ensemble in instruments of praise. The bad played 9 different hymnals. I was the MC for the concert. Before the band played the famous song, “Amazing Grace”, I shared the story of John Newton, the writer of the words of the song.
Newton was not blessed with a good support during his growing up years. His mom died when he was only 7 years old, leaving him under the support of his dad. In Newton’s early teen years, he helped with his dad’s business by working on his slave ship. He stayed under his dad’s influence for few years. Latter on he decided to work for another man who was even worse than his own dad. At the age of 21, Newton was the captain of his own slave ship. One day as Newton was sailing from Africa to England his ship hit a strong storm. At that very moment Newton called to God for help for the first time in his lifetime. After Newton’s deliverance from the deadly storm, he gave his heart to God and became a Christian. The main point I touched on was the fact that Newton didn’t give up his business once he because a Christian. For several, after he was converted, he dealt with slaves. It wasn’t until Newton grew in faith that he left slave trading and became a minster. I love the fact that God doesn’t expect up to be perfect once we know Him. He takes it step by step and sees it as a gradual change. He is so patient with us.
Three days before the concert, one of my students came for Math tutoring at night. After spending about an hour and a half working on a simple little problem I got so annoyed and ran out of patience. I felt like I was teaching the exact lesson I taught earlier in class all over again. I paused and asked her is she was even paying attention to what I was saying in class. I was crushed when I heard these words coming out of her mouth; “ Miss, I couldn’t understand you. You speak English too fast for me.” I just felt so bad for getting impatient with her. I immediately responded, “well, I’m so glad you come and ask for help then. I’ll try to speak slower, but never hesitate to ask me for help any time outside class.”
Patience….patience. If we expect God to be so patient with us, why are we not when dealing with others? To be honest, sometimes it’s hard to be patient but God is always there to give us strength when we need it. God always sends someone to encourage me; most of the time it’s through my student’s words. Finding nice words on the board as I enter class and thank you notes on the homework and quizzes papers gives me power to be more patient. I praise God for every single student I have. I praise God for the privilege of working with them and learning from them every single day.