So when I saw this particular picture I saved it. I find it captivating. As I reflect on this image again this morning many thoughts come to mind. Good and evil. Right side, wrong side. Battle. Narrow way. Destruction vs restoration. But I am landing here on “Love is patient,” 1 Corinthians 13:4. It was literally ringing in my thoughts and I could not get away from it. When this happens I know I need to really take time to settle in and flush out what is being revealed. This picture? Love is patient? A word study of the Greek definition of patient is cited as “properly remaining under, endurance, steadfastness, especially as God enables the believer to ‘remain (endure) under’ the challenges of life.”
And when you think of what we have been taught of patience to tolerate without becoming annoyed or anxious, it seems just another way we have been lulled away from Truth. Because annoyance is so very self-serving but endurance is God-serving. I have seen it stated as patient endurance. Is that redundant? In our society patience does not seem very high on the list of character traits these days. What of endurance in love? True Love never leaves. Love is patient, will be, must be, should be patient. It seems clear to me that we really need to get this Truth. I can be extremely patient but there is an end to my patience. When I get to that point I need to run to God.
I can place myself on that yellow line just as you can sweet reader. Right in the pathway of destruction, one side destroys the other remains intact. If this is moving toward us or away from us there is/was an effect. We can not stand in our own strength. In fact, I feel completely powerless and weak just by focusing down the middle. What if I did not see the escape? A place of safety and security is front of mind with it blasting head on to you. And while it would be an all-consuming experience I know in my heart to even have the remotest chance of survival I have to look away from myself and look to God’s grace and power. Especially when caught within a storm, physically, emotionally or spiritually. I can not manage all by myself. My physical reactions are delayed, my thoughts toss me round and round. I need help to sift and sort and move in the right direction. What if my emotions are this very storm? Well that thought I will save for another day. Provocative, isn’t it.
This picture was brought back to mind yesterday as Louisa and I talked. It was good to just sit with her for awhile. In light of the devastating blow our family has taken this past week, just to see her after a few days of not eased me. As you stand today in the wake of your storm evermore remain faithful so that we can be united in Christ and run with endurance. Trust even when trusting is so very difficult. God is not limited by any storm. Be patient with yourself. Be patient with others. After all, “the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart, a clear conscience and sincere faith.” 1 Timothy 1:5
The only way we can endure is when love is patient.
Just two girls in the woods for ONE, knowing He calms the storm.