“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,” (1 Corinthians 13:4 KJV)
Suffereth long? Patient? It is the same word in the Greek as the one that is used in Matthew 18 where each of two different servants fell down and asked for patience before their respective debt collectors. Usually when we think of the term patient, we think persevering or diligent. The question that is often overlooked is, why? Because we need to be? Because it is a virtue and I want to be considered virtuous? Perhaps, but think on this a minute. Why is a truly patient person willing to be mis-characterized as slow or wasting time? What characteristic is it about a patient person that causes them to take more time with something? I know, I know, let’s get on with the point. 🙂 Really though… It is the detail that they see. A patient person is willing to give more because he sees something developing that might produce life. A patient person actually sees more rather than less. A patient person is collecting details, information, allowing things to mature in the process of making the very best decision possible. Patience can cause a person with a plan who has shown up to the job site to reconsider because of what he notices. He may come with a grand plan for new construction and the funding to go with it, and then change his approach once he notices how much better the end result might be if he uses some of the material that is already there.
A patient person also executes the best judgments. When they finally decide to move, it is because they have seen enough of the case to thoroughly convince them that their judgment is accurate and not merely in precise alignment with previous judgments. This is even more pronounced when someone waits on the Lord. A person may appear to loose their strength because they are now undecided in the presence of new circumstances or new information. Yet it is the detail of the situation that they are pausing for. This does not prevent them from delivering their end plan in a flash and with power. It does reveal that a great deal of vision went into the certainty of it. An attack may seem like a surprise, but often they are carefully calculated by someone who really does see the whole situation. Love is not a weakness. It sees better; more clearly. Judgments that are executed in love are kind in their justice. Many judgments no longer need execution because of the detail seen in the new growth. Life can be breathed back into something that appears dead, and in need of being clearing out, if the master of life is ever sought out earnestly. Patience rightly is the first portion of Love. It is rightly the first fruit given to the Lord.
“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 KJV)