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Love is Patient

A thousand times over the past year we have felt restricted and isolated; it has tested our patience and self-control in ways we never expected.  Now that the restrictions are being lifted, it seems we feel tested all over again.  I have my own sense of reluctance over certain activities and I hear from people every day who have their various comfort levels and frustrations.  The regulations and guidelines are only part of the story because, to some degree, this year full of limitations has also been beneficial.  The complexities and uncertainties can certainly impact our mood and relationships.  This week I found peace and inspiration in an unusual place--the Today Show.

Yep, it was Jenna Bush Hagar who spoke about this very topic and offered some wisdom on the subject that she had received from her beloved grandparents.  It seems that at her wedding, George and Barbara Bush read from 1 Corinthians 13, "Love is patient, love is kind..."  As we consider what to cling to, what to prioritize, what to leave behind, I agree that love is a great place to start.  Patience and kindness, honor and selflessness, truth, protection, trust, hope and perseverance are all markers of love that we could use to guide our choices and inform our motives in this season.  It is a fresh look at a familiar passage of scripture.

I am praying through these verses today and invite you to do so as well:

Love is patient,
(help me to see where I lack patience and where others are working hard to be patient with me)
love is kind.
(what is the kind thing when it comes to limits I impose and limits I accept)
It does not envy,
(oh, God, help me to love and not envy, help me to rely on you for all I really need)
it does not boast,
(where am I bragging about freedoms or privileges that might hurt others)
it is not proud.
(Lord please help me not to be guided by pride and fear)
It does not dishonor others,
(help me honor those around me and to never bring dishonor or shame to others)
it is not self-seeking,
(examine my heart and reveal where my motives are selfish)
it is not easily angered,
(and help me to see the root of my anger so that it does not come on so strong)
it keeps no record of wrongs.
(where do I need to let go, to forgive, and to stop keeping score)
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
(help me to discern what is true and where to place my trust)
It always protects,
(who could use my help and protection--and who does not need my intervention)
always trusts,
(help me to see and expect that others are trustworthy--that you God are trustworthy)
always hopes,
(my hope is in you Lord, help me cling to hope)
always perseveres.
(help me to see challenges with your perspective, God, not giving up)

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

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