Love is Patient, Love is Kind

Been studying the fruit of the Spirit in church over the past few weeks and been really stuck on the traits of patience and kindness.  Certainly not because I exhibit so much of them!  But it also hasn’t been because of my lack of them either.  Really, I have been chewing on these two traits simply because I’ve been so keenly aware of how much Jesus lavishes them on me. 

It seems that every other time I open up my mouth to speak to him, whether alone or in a group, immediately I find myself thanking him for his great patience with me.  I find myself filled with such gratitude for his merciful kindness. He is always patient and he is always kind.  Always.  And lately it is overwhelming me.

I’m not always patient.  I’m not always kind.  Sometimes.  But definitely not always.   But he is always patient and always kind.  He is even patient in my impatience and kind in my unkindness.  Quite frankly, his relentless tenderness and love toward me blows me away.

His patience and kindness have struck a chord with me lately because I need them so desperately. Sometimes I have patience and kindness for others, but rarely do I have them for myself.  I feel like I should be a whole lot further along than I am.  I feel like I should “get” stuff faster than I do.  I feel like I should look and act a whole lot more like him at this stage of the game.  I feel like somehow I made a wrong turn somewhere and now I’m playing catch up.  I feel like I’m running behind.

But I am where I am.  He doesn’t seem to mind.  He doesn’t think I’m slow.  He doesn’t think I am behind.  He just loves me right where I’m at – fully and completely, with great patience and great kindness.  Always.

We often hear that God isn’t in hurry.  And it is true – he isn’t.  But I find myself thinking of that statement differently these days.   He’s not in a hurry with me.  He will give me all the time I need to work out what he has worked in.  He is not frustrated.  He is not rushed.  He is certainly not fed up or angry.  He always has time for me. And he is always so, so patient and kind.

Love is patient.  Love is kind.  Maybe as I continue to receive both patience and kindness from the very Source of Love itself, I will find more of its fruit growing in my own heart and life.

            How can I ever thank you for your great patience and for your amazing loving-kindness toward me? You are so merciful, so tender and so sweet. Lord, I receive your love, I receive your patience and I receive your kindness, because I need them so desperately. Thank you for never giving up on me and for always speaking the truth to me in tenderness and love. And sometimes the truth is simply that you love me and you’re proud of me.  Sometimes the truth is that where I am, really is where I’m supposed to be.  Sometimes the truth is that you are pleased and delighted with me.  Thank you for providing me with a living example of love that never gives up and love that never fails; of love that is both patient and kind.  And, please, continue to patiently teach me how  to love the way you love me.  ~Amen

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