Babies are born impatient. They want to be fed, comforted, and cared for immediately. And that is just as it should be.

We learn over time how to stand by, how to set our immediate needs aside - at least for a time - and wait for what we hope will come.

Learn now the patience that is necessary for your eventual good. God knows your needs, because God knows you.

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For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.

May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:4-6

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I had an eighth-grade history teacher who made the entire class raise their hands every time she asked a question. She wanted us always to be prepared to answer any question. She also knew there were students, like myself, who were shy and too insecure to ever raise our hands even if we knew the answer. Her instruction gave me permission to be brave and confident. She taught me to be ready.

When we were all raising our hands I felt less scared to do so. The church should feel like that classroom – full of eager people ready to participate despite our fears. Paul’s letters are full of encouragement. He cheers us on even today to not wait to encourage others, to offer hope as we have been given hope through the scriptures. Who do you know who might be waiting for a good word from you today? Can God call on you?

Erika Funk

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Steadfast God, teach me to be an encourager. Even when I am scared or not feeling hopeful myself, provide me with enough to be a light for you today. Amen.

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We're waiting for a revolution;
Waiting for the impossible.

We're waiting for change,
For the coming of the One.

We're waiting to be told, "Yes,"
To be included.

Go with hope that,
Whatever you are waiting for,
God will answer
The prayer of your heart.

Erika Funk

Erika Funk is a pastor in the Presbyterian Church USA, currently serving at Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She created the Youth Initiative there, which invites young people to go deeper spiritually and theologically into mission. Erika finds God's peace in teenagers who ask a lot of questions, cups of tea, and the ocean.


Jim Morgan

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