“strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy;”
Naturally I am an introvert. I cherish time alone with the Lord and times of reflection. Living on the property here in Antigua I am constantly surrounded by people; except for my time alone with the Lord in the mornings. There have been moments where I feel internally tired from all of the energy around me and I feel this desire to emotionally shut down. But the Lord is calling me to things bigger than myself. Long-suffering. This is a characteristic of the Lord that I have come to know more and more over the last few months of my life. We all know the “love” verses in the Bible; 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. Most people know the first part of verse 4 that says, “Love is Patient, love is kind.” But the New King James version reads: “Love suffers long and is kind…” I serve a God who waits. He waits for people to come to Him, He waits for those who have walked away from Him to come back; and He continues to pursue us in kindness even when we turn our backs on Him. This astounds me. The amount of suffering the Lord must go through as He watches me make mistakes that are avoidable. If only I would stop, be still to hear His voice and obey what He tries to tell me. He pursues me with patience and diligence in moments when I think I can handle things on my own. During my field time I know there will be times where I will be tempted to shut down, but I want to prepare now for success in those moments then. The strength the Lord gives me is from His power; preparing me for situations requiring patience, longsuffering and through this producing joy. I know I must face each day with long-suffering to serve the people around me rather than myself. Even in the Lords suffering, He is still kind to me. Thank you Lord that you never quit!
Application: When I feel tempted to shut down I will stop and remember 1 Corinthians 13:4. I will pray and ask the Lord for a fresh love for the people around me and for the strength He gives according to His power; getting my eyes off of myself and onto Him who loves me and asks me to love others in kindness.