Thursday, November 12, 2009

How Long?

1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient…"

Patient – greek makrothumeo (verb) (Strong’s concordance number 3114)
1. to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
a. to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
b. to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others

It is almost impossible to be patient when you have been maligned, treated unfairly. You want immediate action taken to right the wrong, set the record straight, and have your name/reputation cleared of all mud and falsehood. At the same time, you want to run and hide, and give up altogether. To endure is almost worse than the words/actions which brought you to this place of sorrow and darkness and pain.

God tells us love is patient – “of a long spirit”. Somehow this sounds to me like we need to prepare to love for the long haul, because “long spirit” certainly doesn’t strike me as a momentary situation.

Lord, I confess I don’t want to love patiently like this. I want all this to be over… now! I have been knocked breathless and feel gutted. My heart is shattered… my spirit crushed, my will fading and weary… how long? I know You loved like this, I know you continue to love like this… and I know You call me to be like You. But Abba, I am before You, a heap of brokenness. I can barely face another hour, let alone a lengthy perseverence – how am I to do this?

I read the words of Psalm 38:15 “For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God., and I will wait for You.. my only Hope.” Help me to know these are more than words on a page, Abba. Hold me close because I am struggling and just don’t think I can take much more.