Years ago, while I was in my way to Cairo to teach Patrology (the science of studying the writings and quotations of the church forefathers), I met with a person, sitting next to me in the train. He seemed to be in his sixties. He told me the following story:
“My job is a manager at… My relationship with all my colleagues and subordinates is excellent. We all live in a family atmosphere.
My supervisor started to annoy me for no apparent reason. He was so arrogant with me to an extent that irritated even my subordinates, since we were all engaged in a caring relationship.
He intensified his pressure more and more every day. I contemplated taking an early retirement, as my only way out of a heart attack, or another serious illness caused by excessive stress.
The idea started to take hold of my mind but I decided to take a two-week vacation. I wanted to have an opportunity of seclusion with my God before taking a final decision. Therefore, I went alone to my apartment in Abu-Keer, Alexandria.
I dedicated the two weeks entirely for prayer, especially using the Book of Psalms, in a quiet and enjoyable atmosphere. I forgot all my problems and tribulations and asked my Lord for direction. My prayers resulted in taking the decision of continuing to work, regardless of what my superior can come up with in terms of antagonism. It’s up to me to tolerate him cheerfully.
I’d forgotten all of my superior’s actions, and I went to work the day after my vacation with longing to see him. God has put in my heart a tremendous love for that man.
I met with my colleagues and subordinates who greeted me with sincere warmth as a family member. Then, they said to me, “What have you done with your supervisor?”
When I exclaimed the nature and tone of their question, they explained, “Today is his funeral.” I was shocked. Out of my shock, I wept profoundly. Everyone felt that I was sincere in my love for him. I told them, “Believe me, I love the man.”
They were all surprised to hear that from a person who was always a target for his enmity.” “They have not realized that prayers granted you a heart that is big enough for loving everyone. Prayer makes your heart not to succumb to tribulations.”
My dear youth,
It seems that every human being in the world faces perturbations, not because life is a constant source of pain but because our hearts are too narrow to accommodate the tribulations of life. The real need is not for the nuisance to go away, but for our hearts to grow broader and make room for any tribulation regardless of its size.
Acquaintance with God is “total love. It gives your heart perseverance and joy amongst distress.”
We do not deny the realities of life with all its agonies. But prayer gives you support that converts your tears to “heavenly healing.”
“We glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation works patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope makes not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us” (Rom. 5.35).
Will my heart be bothered with tribulations?
Will my heart be bothered with tribulations while You live in me?
As You inhabit my heart, You convert it to a heaven,
So the agonies of life cannot capture my soul,
And people’s malice cannot hurt me.
I meet Thee; I talk with Thee and my heart then gets broader with Your love,
I love, in righteousness, even my adversaries.
I seek, in righteousness their safety and salvation,
So, I enjoy my life, in spite of pain
Teach me how to communicate with Thee.
Grant me the privilege of embracing You,
So, I bear a true love for every man.
A Little Girl Saving her Parents
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