The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
Psalm 103:8 (New International Version)
Do you have Patience? Patience is not everyone´s cup-of -tea. Arthur Garfunkel (76), a musician of my generation, was a very patient person. That´s what he admitted in an interview*. Quite unlike his partner Paul Simon (77). He is reported to have been a very impatient artist at the time. While Garfunkel rehearsed new songs and repeated them until they were perfect, Simon did not want to rehearse the songs "to death." "The Sounds of Silence", "Bridge over troubled water" - perfect!
Patient people are a rarity. When I was still working, some colleagues were quoted with these words: "The impossible is done immediately, wonders take a little longer."
Being patient is a wonderful characteristic. Talking to someone who listens patiently and does not constantly look at his watch - that's wonderful. To have someone who patiently explains something to me until I understand it - this is a wonderful person. Having someone next to me who patiently accompanies me through hard times, a crisis, times of sadness or illness – this can feel like a miracle.
In the New Testament being patient means to be able to endure. To endure a situation, even if it is difficult. Do not run away, but mature in human terms. Sometimes I am not able to run away from a problem. I may be forced to endure my situation. I have to stay under it. I can not run away if my child is disabled. I can not run away if my spouse is in need of care.
Patiently enduring does not mean giving up. It does not mean to lose all hope and to accept everything without an own will. To be patient is to have a goal and to work on it, with a lot of stamina. In the case of illness, this can mean working intensively on rehabilitation. In a crisis, this can mean sitting down with a therapist or pastor. In times of mourning it could mean to join a self-help group to bear the suffering together.
The one who has patience has a long staying power. God has that long staying power. He is patient with everybody. God can endure that he is rejected by many people. God can stand that many people turn their backs on him. God can endure that his love is rejected or even answered with hate.
God's patience becomes visible in the Lord Jesus Christ. Although he only showed his kindness to people, he was rejected. But he stayed with them anyway. Patiently, he endured the torture. He patiently endured the violent death. His love was and is greater than any rejection.
God's love is still limitless today. God does not give up - he loves us forever (Juergen Werth). God does not forsake us, because he has the hope that we will reciprocate his love. Patiently he waits for you and me in his boundless love.
I wish you a blessed week
If you want to pray, and you are lacking words: Here is a prayer which I have prepared for you.
Good God, Father in heaven
Thank you for your patience which you show to me every day anew
I thank you for your boundless love with which you look at me.
Thank you, that I never can lose hope.
You carry me through the deserts of my life.
You have patience with me. Let me be patient with my fellow neighbor also.
* Süddeutsche Zeitung No. 248 p. 52