Posted in Trust/Patience
Scripture: “Love is patient…” (1 Corinthians 13:4). “So we have known and believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.” – 1 John 4:16
In this day and age, we have grown accustomed to instant results provided by amazing technological advances. We text, we Instagram, we scan and send, we attend meetings by phone or Zoom, we even take pictures with our phones and enjoy the image of the moment immediately. Remotely in real time, we can monitor our babies or who is approaching our homes. We can even ask “Siri” to provide information on spoken demand. Instant gratification is commonplace these days. On the upside, it seems that we can juggle more at once, making us perhaps more efficient and productive. But is there a downside? Are we less patient?
The dictionary defines patience as “calm endurance without complaining or losing self-control.” Have we grown less tolerant of things that seem to take too long? Have we grown less tolerant with each other when we don’t see eye to eye?
I think back to God’s long story in scripture and what he reveals about himself. I am struck by the depth of our Father’s abiding love, as evidenced in the extreme patience he displays throughout that long and tumultuous history. His patience is seen in the way he responds to his beloved children’s serial waywardness down through the ages, despite lighting the path brilliantly with unbroken covenants, amazing miracles, holy laws, courageous prophets, and most astoundingly in the grace-filled life, teachings and sacrifice of his Son for our redemption.
Like Adam and Eve, the patriarchs, the children of Israel, the disciples, the early Church saints, and believers down through the centuries, we today follow well for a while, but inevitably get off track time and time again. As he has always done, our God patiently walks alongside each of us through thick and thin. Each time we stumble or stray, he patiently forgives us and, by the Holy Spirit, gives us a hand-up to strengthen and guide us back on course. He makes patient and persistent effort to redeem us, draw us to him, and offer us kingdom life, in spite of ourselves. This is love in action.
Throughout time, God reveals himself and models for all to see a more excellent way by showing love through patience. As his image-bearers, might we all strive to emulate our Father and practice more patience with one another, thereby reflecting more of his image and light into this impatient world. Love in action.
Prayer: Loving Father, thank you for your patient love that shows us a more excellent way. By your Holy Spirit, give each of us strength and courage to do the same with one another to brighten the kingdom. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
Submitted by Pam Halligan