Today is a guest post from Jim Hall. Jim has been on a journey of discovery for almost six years of learning to break all sorts of destructive lies, bad beliefs and habits. He is a graduate of Celebrate Recovery, Bethesda Workshops and (very) slowly studying for a pastoral counseling certificate from New Life University.
Love is Patient – My personal thoughts on 1COR 13
How long would you wait for someone, on someone or with someone?
We will camp overnight to stand in long lines for tickets to a concert or a movie premier. Yet, how long would we wait in a surgical waiting room or in the lobby of a counselors office while our friend is inside weeping over loss of their childhood innocence? How long would we wait for the love of our life to be standing in front of us or sitting across a dinner table from us? How long would we wait on God just to hear the faintest leading? How long would we wait on the world’s greatest meal if only we absolutely knew it was on it’s way but we didn’t know exactly when it was coming?
Lots of “how longs” aren’t there? We all have them, we all know the right answer. But, when the rubber hits the patience road what is our reality regarding patience and is it a measure of our love? According to this part of His word, it would seem to be.
Why is patience such a tough thing for us? Generally, for me, I’d have to truthfully answer, selfishness. I have what I think are good plans, good thoughts and ideas, but let’s face it, I want things now. The idea of delayed gratification, or that there may be pieces of my good plans I haven’t considered which are even better, seems to drift from my mind when my selfishness kicks in. He said He’d give us the desires of our heart, right?
Well there’s that whole delight myself in Him first thing…that takes awhile, doesn’t it? Yes, it does when I delight my way. Maybe it’s not a trade off, maybe He meant for our delight in Him to be a way of life. And then, maybe, it’s not about me at all.
Love is patient. Seems pretty matter of fact, and it is. So, what if I am not always the picture of patience when I am pretty sure I do love? What is wrong with me? I’m human. That’s pretty much it. Deep in me I desire to automatically ooze with patience from a love I feel, but somehow no matter how much I rest in patience, it seems to have limits. Unfortunately, my selfishness has none.
So, what is the answer? Or, an answer. The answer for me has settled in at desire and practice. It took me 52 years to learn to be all about me and impatient, is it realistic to think I can suddenly become patient overnight? No, it isn’t. But, if I have love enough to create the desire in me to become that 1 Corinthians 13 man; then just maybe, I have enough love patience to learn a little more, a little at a time. Like everything else in this life, it is a journey of learning. It was a journey of false beliefs and failures that led me step by step to a place I didn’t even know I was going.
So, I think I can live with that. I can understand and continue to try, realizing my love is love, in a lesser form apparently and constantly being perfected and grown with each season of planting and tending to create a real form, or not even a form of but in reality, His form. Sure is worth the effort I think even if I never make it there.
As I have encountered many times before, it comes down to a single 3 part question, How honest can I be with myself, had badly do I want it, and what am I prepared to do to become it?