It’s a lot easier to be patient when nothing is testing our patience. When all goes according to our plan and there are no interruptions in our flow, patience feels so natural. We may even claim patience in moments like these. But how patient are we, really? In our ever on-demand world, patience becomes even more challenged. We have expectations that we will pull through a drive thru and our order will be done when we want, how we want, and to the level of quality we demand. We have expectations we will not have to wait in line when we go to the gas station (at least most of the time anyway). We have expectations there will be enough lines open to check us out when we visit a store – or at least, we think that’s the way it should go. When we sit down at a restaurant, we expect to be treated and served a particular way. Our expectations set us up to have our patience challenged at every turn. And all too often, we end up showing our butt instead of our patience. We end up acting like first world privileged people who have demands that must be met rather than God’s children.
I think it is interesting that in the verse today, patience and kindness are contained together. They seem to serve as a unit. Love is patient and kind. It seems to be that if we can exercise patience, we can also find time for kindness. When those minor inconveniences do not cause us to become angry and hateful – those are times when we can share kindness with someone who could probably use a lot of kindness at that moment. It allows us to take a step back and find ways to be kind in the face of adversity. It allows us to be a little more like Jesus. Isn’t that really what it is all about anyway? Our delay in getting something we want may just be the opportunity show the love of Christ – if we can simply be patient.
I am grateful God is patient with us. We are reminded in Psalm 103:8 – “The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.” God is love. And God is patient and kind. Maybe we should give it a try too.
1 Corinthians 13:4
4 Love is patient, love is kind.
Photos included in Devotions are captured by David Cain – The Cain Gallery. Photos are available for sale by contacting The Cain Gallery