A Ride Across the Desert

I am reading through Quran, trying to find inspiration, and I find Jacob’s response to his sons, when they bring the bloodied shirt of their brother Joseph to him. They tell their father Joseph has been killed by wolves. Jacob replies that he will have faith in God and have “sabr-en jamil”, which translates as “beautiful patience” or “graceful patience”. I’m a bit puzzled by the word choice- “jamil”? Typical me in these circumstance, I run to my Quranic vocabulary book to search for the vowel roots “jim-mim-la”.

The first word with this root is “camel”. Camel?

Then I start to think about how important a camel would be to someone on the Arabian Peninsula.

I tell my kids that now is the time to have “patience like the camel”- and by that I mean that they have to cling to patience just as a Bedouin would cling to his camel in the wide open desert. You just have to pray that that camel is going to get you to water, to safety, to where you need to be in order to survive. You have to have faith that the camel will get you there, no matter how bad that desert may seem.


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