Love is patient, love is kind. –1 Cor. 13:4
This little verse is loud in my heart and mind today. It’s what I wanted to write about this week. But when I sat down to write, I remembered I had written on this same verse just a couple of years ago. When I reread it, I realized it was exactly what the Lord had been speaking to me about today. I guess I needed a little reminder. Maybe someone else does too? So instead of writing something new, I’ve made a few tweaks and I’m reposting the original devo …
I’ve been meditating on the fruit of the Spirit a lot lately, but I can’t seem to get past the traits of patience and kindness. Certainly not because I exhibit so much of them! But it 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 my mouth to speak to him, 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.
And it overwhelms me.
I’m not always patient. And I’m not always kind. Sometimes. But definitely not always. But Jesus is. 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’m aware that 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.
We often hear that God isn’t in hurry. And it is true – he isn’t. But I find myself thinking of that statement very 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 flowing from my own life.Jesus, How can I ever thank you for your great patience and your amazing kindness toward me? You are so merciful, so tender, and so sweet. 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