Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Do you struggle to be patient with people that are different than you? The driver who cuts you off? The clerk who doesn’t get your order right? The loved one who doesn’t give the answer you want or doesn’t answer at all? The broken soul whose hurt comes out on you in hurtful ways? Patience in the face of brokenness is difficult to grasp.
When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. “He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2:23-24
That is patience. Even more so, Jesus patiently endured 30 years of life on this broken earth before he even began His life changing three year ministry. Patiently growing in grace, wisdom and stature before he began the journey to teach, suffer and die. That is patience.
I thank God for that patience. A patience that did not turn on me in anger. A patience that did not call fire down from heaven to destroy me and every other rebellious soul. His patience was born of a heart of love for those he came to save. He knew better than to react to the immediate circumstance. He had a long view to love, a patient understanding to the plan of redemption. His loving patience kept him from a vitriolic, reactionary smack-down and led Jesus to say:
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. Luke 23:24
Maybe in the middle of your week you feel impatient and tested. Maybe a co-worker, your boss or a friend just doesn’t get it and you feel like you are at your wits end. Or worse, maybe they’ve hurled hurtful words and actions at you. Before you react, before the pain you feel turns to painful retaliation, breathe. Breathe in the patient suffering and loving kindness of Jesus Christ for you. Breathe deep. Breathe again of the gentle hand of reconciliation He extended to you.
Father, today may I be a person of loving patience. Fill me with the love of Christ for myself and the other hurting people I encounter today. Amen.
“Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something.” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.