Random Acts of Kindness and Kites

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I was laying in bed thinking about kindness and all that encompassed. I was praying that God would help me to understand the kindness He was talking about in the Bible.

As I lay there he showed me an image of a kite. I wondered what a kite had to do with kindness. This is what he shared with me.

You take a kite and you let out a little string at a time. As it begins to drift off you let out more string. Finally, the kite gets so high the wind takes it and allows it to go in whatever direction the wind blows. You stand on the ground letting out more string watching the kite fly off. The wind takes over; all you do is let it go by pulling out more string.

God shared doing random acts of kindness is like kite flying. We often start out showing kindness in small indiscreet ways. We enjoy standing back and watching what happens when we show kindness to others. We often are blessed by it. It makes us want to do more not for glory, but because of the blessings we receive from being kind.

Then as we get comfortable we step out of our comfort zone and before long we are showing acts of kindness in every aspect of our lives. We stand back to see all the various forms our kindness has taken. We see that maybe we meant it for one thing, but God takes our act of kindness, and just like the wind adds a twist or turn to it and it turns out better than we ever dreamed. We stand just like the kite flyer and let loose of our string (kindness) and we let God have it and take it where he wants it to go.

I thought that was a pretty cool thought. As I continued thinking about all of this I was understanding that a kite can go only if the kite flyer lets loose of the string. The kite flyer has control over how much string he lets go of. When we control our lives and decide not to act in a kindly manner or we decide how often we let our kindness show we are just like the kite flyer holding back instead of letting it go.

Sometimes kites go up and then fall to the ground. God showed me when we want to control our acts of kindness instead of allowing him take our acts of kindness and do what he wants with them they fall flat and go no where.

Sometimes our kites get caught in trees or bushes or other objects and they go nowhere. They are stuck until we free them from the obstruction. If we get caught up in getting or receiving glory or honor for those things we do, if we are doing things to make a name for ourselves God sometimes put obstacles in our way and the act gets caught and goes nowhere When we set aside our pride the act of kindness is set free to go where God wants it to go.

There are some days we can’t fly a kite. There is a storm brewing, the wind isn’t right or a number of others things keep us from flying a kite. The kite flyer knows it’s just not a good day. Instead of ignoring the circumstances he waits. He waits for the right time, the right energy and for things to settle; he waits for the day he can fly his kite. While he is waiting he might be busy studying his kites, he might be planning his next adventure or he might be building his next kite.

That’s the way we are. Some days are not good days for acts of kindness for whatever reason. So, instead of pushing ahead we wait. We study the situation, we plan; we build. We wait to hear from God who is sure to show us when it’s time and to whom we show acts of kindness too.

I never knew kite flying and random acts of kindness had so much in common. God is always good to teach me, to show me, to guide me.

Kindness is something that God teaches us. As we grow in God and as he teaches us to be kind it is not something we hang onto, but we let it go and bless others. God blesses us in his kindness; we bless others.

Do a deed of simple kindness; though its end you may not see, it may reach, like widening ripples, down a long eternity.
~ Joseph Norris

Go fly a kite or better yet…go fly a random act of kindness; say a prayer as you let it go and allow God to use it as he wants.

Dear God: it’s amazing the things you teach me. I am amazed at how you take two things put them together and teach me lessons. I want to let go of the string on my random acts of kindness and let it fly as you see best. Help me not to get my acts of kindness caught in the tree of pride or selfishness, but help me remain humble so that my acts will be free to be used for you and by you. On the days I can’t fly random acts of kindness remind those days you have given me to teach, plan and to build. Thank you for all you do in teaching me to live more fully in you. Amen

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Walking in the Light Stumbling in the Darkness

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For years my husband and I slept in complete darkness; no night light nothing. In fact, my husband insisted we have complete darkness. For years I was okay with this. I could even manage to find my way to the bathroom in the complete darkness. It seemed I was familiar with my surroundings and could fine my way around in the darkness. I felt pretty comfortable in the it. I did not need light.
 
However a few months back for some reason I began to get lost in the darkness. I would run into the bathroom door or I would hit the shower door or a number of other things. I would even run into the door jam. I never hurt myself, but I was lost in the darkness. I just couldn’t find my way around any more. I suddenly realized I needed a nightlight so I could find my way. With my husband needing complete darkness it was a challenge for us. We’d buy a nightlight plug it in and go to bed. I soon discovered my husband would think it was too bright and turn it off. So we’d go shopping for another nightlight with the same thing happening. We found one he could live with. It was on my side of the room, but the light was too bright for me and I couldn’t sleep. After several weeks we found a nightlight that would work and the perfect place for us to put it. It gave off just enough light for me to find my way around, but not too bright to blind me or to keep us from falling to sleep. I could find my way around the darkness and not run into things because of this light.
 
As usual I was thinking about how this light had changed everything. I went from groping in the dark and getting lost to being able to see in the light and finding my way around. God reminded me that was a lot like my own life.
 
You see before my walk with Christ became real I found myself in complete darkness. I was completely comfortable with it. So comfortable in fact I could find my way around with out any problems.
 
When my walk with Christ became real and I saw “the light” (sorry for the pun) I no longer enjoyed the darkness. It became uncomfortable for me. I began to realize I needed the light to help me see the dangers that might come my way in the darkness.
 
I didn’t realize how much danger I was in when I was in the darkness. I could easily have fallen or ran into something or fallen over something and hurt myself. Once I realized the dangers I had a choice to make. I could continue groping in the darkness and hope nothing happened or I could add some light to my circumstance and make my life a little easier. Once again, I did not know the dangers of living in sin until I experienced God’s true light.
 
Same way with my spiritual life. Once I walked in the light, I had a decision to make. I could remain in the light or I could walk away from it and remain in a safe comfortable place with all the dangers lurking. I chose to walk in the light and take my chances with Christ. By walking in the light, I still don’t see all the dangers that surround me, but I no longer have to worry about those dangers because Christ is walking with me. I am learning it is much better to be in the light than in the darkness.
 
When I was a child I was afraid of the dark like so many children are. I am not sure when the fear of the darkness left me, but I am no longer afraid of the dark; I just don’t like walking in it. Psalm 27:1 tells us, “The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life – of whom shall I be afraid of?”  Because I walk in the light of the Lord, I know I am saved from all the dangers of this world. I don’t need to fear because I walk in the light. If I live as though Christ is my stronghold then who should I fear or what should I fear?
 
There are times we forget to turn on the nightlight and I stumble in the darkness once again, but I soon remember how much better it is when I have the nightlight guiding my way.
 
There are times in my life that darkness creeps in and I have trouble finding my way out of the darkness, but then Christ comes along and offers me His light and I find my way safely back to Him and all is good again.
 
Which do you prefer? Do you enjoy walking in the darkness or are you one who likes walking in the light? I hope you have experienced the light and find it more comforting than walking alone in the darkness. May God shed his light on you and may you find your peace in his light.
 
Dear God: I am so thankful that I have found the light and I am no longer comfortable in the darkness. I may not be able to see all the dangers even in the light, but I no longer fear them because you walk with me and you are my stronghold. May I never lose your light in my life. I never want to walk and be comfortable in the darkness again. Thank you for bringing me out of the darkness and into the light. Amen

Kill Them With Kindness Words from a Mom

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It is May and as we continue the study of the Fruits of the Spirit we delve into kindness this month. I think it is a little ironic that it is also the month we celebrate Mothers Day. I think for the most part mothers and kindness goes together. I know someone of you might disagree, but for most people our mothers were kind people at least to us.
 
Kindness in the dictionary is described as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. I think if you ask most people they will tell you they consider themselves kind. Most people will tell you they are friendly and sometimes generous. Sometimes people see themselves as considerate other times not so much.
 
For the last few years off and on I have seen signs in yards that say, “kindness matters.” Do we really have to be reminded to be kind? Are we teaching our kids to be kind to one another? It has bothered me for the last week or two that kindness is a commodity that we sometimes are lacking. As I learned of the death of a young bride who two or three weeks after her marriage was gunned down because she was given a position apparently someone else thought they should have had. So, instead of being kind and considerate he gets angry and destroys multiple lives; his own and hers along with all the families involved. Where was kindness then?
 
About the same time we see two young men thinking it’s okay to take their anger out on each other and schedule a fight. Now I know it’s pretty normal for two boys to get in a fight. It happens all the time. You rough each other up, get your anger out, shake hands afterwards and walk away. Why would anyone consider it okay to bring a gun to a fight? Why would anyone think it’s okay to take another’s life? Where was kindness?
 
If we look around sometimes kindness is hard to see. It’s hard to be kind when you’ve lost your job and your world is falling down around you. It’s hard to be kind when they’ve just told you your days are numbered. Kindness is not something that just happens or is it?
 
 
I think when God tells us to take on the Fruit of the Spirit kindness he’s not talking about actions or emotions. I think he is talking more about a way of life. It’s not something we feel or do it’s how we live on a daily basis.
 
Last week I experienced an act of kindness. I was helping get ready for a benefit we were having for our organization. It was on a Thursday afternoon. Some young teenagers were among us. As I was introduced to them that morning I was told they were missing school with the school’s approval. One of the young ladies was having a birthday. For her birthday party she gathered friends who all wanted to participate in some charitable way. Instead of having a party and getting gifts this young lady decided to donate her time to help us both that day and into the evening. After being with her for sometime I could tell this was not an act or she wasn’t doing this out of emotion. She lived being kind and generous with her time.
 
Living in kindness like God wants us to is doing kind things without thinking about what we are going to get in return. Living an act of kindness is doing things without thinking what you are doing. Living a life of kindness is being considerate all the time and not just those times we pick and choose. Living a life of kindness is being kind to other motorists on the highway regardless of how we are treated. Being kind is opening doors, letting others go ahead of you, letting others have the parking space that just opened up, it’s about showing kindness like God shows to us every day.
 
God shows us kindness each day by blessing us with another day of life. God shows us kindness when he doesn’t give us what we deserve. 
 
I love what Colossians 3:12 says, “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” As we get dressed each day we are to put on the armor of God and then we are to clothe ourselves with kindness. If everyone clothed themselves with kindness what would this world look like? What would your corner of the world look like?
 
One of my mom’s favorite sayings to me as a kid was, “Honey, just kill them with kindness.” I was taught from a young age to be kind. I am learning as an older kid to live and walk in kindness; even when I don’t feel like it. 
We have had Radom Acts of Kindness days…it wouldn’t be random if we learned to live as kindness people.
 
As we study the Fruits of the Spirit I am beginning to realize these fruits of the Spirit is not emotions, acts, or anything else. It’s not something we do or don’t do. The Fruits of the Spirit is a new way to live your life.
 
I challenge you tomorrow morning as you dress follow the command in Colossians and dress yourself in kindness. Let’s get a new clothing trend started.
 
Dear Lord, I am saddened by the lack of kindness towards others, but then I see acts of kindness and I am hopeful. Teach us its a way of life not an emotion or a deed. Guide us as we begin to clothe ourselves in kindness. Help us to share this type of clothing with others. Amen

Coke Cola Glasses

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I have received a real joy from my husband over the last few weeks. It started a couple of weeks ago after his first cataract surgery. I must tell you my husband has had glasses since he was in first grade and they were thick ones. Some people have referred to them as the Coke Cola glasses.
 
The last few months before surgery he could barely see. Everything he saw was blurry. I worried about him driving back and forth to work. After actually going to a real eye doctor and not a doc in the box it was mentioned he needed surgery like yesterday on both eyes. Surgery was scheduled.
 
Later that day and the next day as his eye recuperated from the surgery he began to be excited. He began an hourly report of all that he could see. He could see roof lines and trees and on and on. I was excited for him. He could begin to read and see things he hasn’t seen in years. He was extremely excited to get the second one done.
 
We went the following week to get the second one done. Again later that day and the next we went through the report of all he could see. It was as if he was blind, but now could see. It was exciting. Yes, I must admit after awhile it got a little old, but I was excited for him. He went on to tell me how he had tried to take off his glasses to shower or go to bed just to realize he did not have glasses on. He had to be out in the rain for a small amount of time and found he did not have to free his glasses from the rain. He is so happy and excited.
 
God reminded me of a few things. I was reminded of a time several years ago when some of our youth back in Indiana had come back from a retreat, camp, or some religious outing they had taken. These kids had changed they were different. They came to a group I was a part of to share all that had taken place in their lives. I was reminded of the song that is popular right now about being a soul on fire. These kids were souls on fire. They had plans for the church and the youth group and they wanted to see some changes made. I was so excited for these kids. It reminded me of an earlier time when I experienced much of the same things. The only problem with this was they were talking to a group of older ladies who had lost their fire. They had lost their hope in the church of ever being grander or a church who was a soul on fire. So, instead of encouraging these youth they just listened without giving any encouragement. At the end they mentioned how they hoped they could accomplish these things but told them not to be too hopeful. They quenched their spirit. I was devastated. Eventually, these kids lost that fire and I am not sure how many of them attend church today. These kids had been blinded but saw all that could be. They could see all the things we older ones couldn’t see, but instead of encouraging them or being excited for them we put the blinders back on them.
 
I have thought of others throughout my life that has been blinded by sin and despair. Christ came into their lives and they were excited. They were blind, but now could see, unfortunately others didn’t want them to see as clearly as they could. They were afraid of changes or maybe jealous of what these sighted people could see and was upset at their loss of their own eyesight.
 
While listening to my hubby’s report hourly I had to be careful not to put the blinders back on him. I had to be excited for him. I had to encourage him.
 
How often we put blinders back on people who have seen Christ for the first time. We quench their spirit we douse their fire. How sad.

 
God quickly reminded me I experience this much the same way. I go to a retreat or other Christian functions and my fire gets flamed and it starts burning. I am excited to come home and make changes in my life. I am going to make sure I pray daily, read the Bible, I am going to make sure my walk with Christ is vibrant, real and so on and so on. I go to church and share my ideas with others and many times I get the same response as these kids got. I make all the promises just to find life happens and I slowly am blinded again. It happens to all of us along our walk. It’s hard to keep our eyesight sharp and clear. Situations happen and we lose sight.
 
So what’s the solution? Is there one? First, I think we have to be careful when we have our fires burning and our blinders off. We have to meet with others on a regular basis that have their blinders off. We can’t be around people who constantly douse our fires and want to put blinders back on us.
 
Second and foremost, I think we have to encounter God on a daily basis. I think we have to walk and talk with him on a routine basis. And, I am all for meditating and being in His Spirit at least once a week if not more often. By that I mean, turning everything off, (phones, TVs, Computers, tablets etc) going off to a quiet place and meditate. Listen to what he has for you. Make a prayer garden at home or go to a prayer garden. Visit a labyrinth and do the walk. Retreats, camps and walks away from home are great, but we can’t always fit them into our schedule. So instead of trying to create something that is impossible for us we create something that is possible. If you can’t find an hour a week to go off and be by yourself to meditate and experience God then life is happening too much for you. Don’t let life pass you by. Take time for God not life.
 
Finally, one last thing. What would have happened to my hubby’s spirit if I hadn’t encouraged him, been excited for him or doused his fire? When someone one comes to you and they are a soul on fire, don’t discourage them, life will do that. Encourage them, experience it with them and by all means enjoy them and their new found insight. Get close enough to them and it might just rub off and before you know it your blinders might fall off as well.
 
He replied, “The man they call Jesus made some mud and put it on my eyes. He told me to go to Siloam and wash. So I went and washed, and then I could see.” John 9:11
 
Do you have blinders on? Can you see as clearly as you’d like? Christ is waiting to open your eyes to all he has for you to see. We can choose to stay blinded or we can allow God to take off our blinders and see. My husband chose surgery and he can see clearly now. What is your choice?
 
Dear God: Thank you for doctors who perform surgeries that make us able to see clearly and better. Thank you for the excitement my husband has as he sees things he hasn’t seen in a long time. Help us as we take off our blinders and see things we’ve missed for awhile. Remind us to be encouragers and not discouragers. Help us to help others see you. Be with us as we get away to meditate on you and the words you have for us. Open our eyes that we might see. Amen
 

Patience with Smelly Animals

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There are so many stories that reflect patience in the Bible. We often hear about the patience of Job. We know God patiently waited until Noah got the ark done before he sent rain. But, for me there is one story that in my mind stands out or stands above the others. For you it may be a different story.
I am thinking about the patience of Noah. I know your wondering how in the world Noah had patience. It was God that displayed patience while waiting on Noah to finish the ark. Hear me out. Stop and reflect back on the story for just a few minutes.
 
“The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.” Genesis 7:1-4
 
Now get a clear vision in your head. Noah is to take seven pairs of every kind of clean animal and one pair of every unclean animal and then also another seven pairs of every kind of bird. He has seven days to get this all done before God sends the rain. Then for forty days and forty nights God will make it rain and clean the earth.
 
He also had with him three sons, three daughters-in-law and a wife. All of these people and animals resided in this ark for at least forty days and forty nights, it could have been longer who really knows.
 
There are a couple of thoughts here. I am not a patient person when it rains more than one or two days in a row. I am okay for a couple of days after that I am ready for some sun. I am ready to see something and hear something other than rain, lightening and thunder. So, for me having rain for several days in a row is almost unthinkable.
 
Another thought. I love animals. I love being with animals. I don’t love the mess they sometimes produce. Or when it gets a little damp and Kobe’s or Max’s hair gets wet with moisture it begins to smell and my sinuses aren’t too keen on that. I just have two. Can you imagine what it would be like to have that many animals with you twenty four hours a day for forty plus days. Who knows what it was like if the skunk got in an uproar.
 
Most of you know I came from Indiana. We have snow and ice in Indiana. There have been times in the past we were snowed or iced in for several days in a row and sometimes weeks at a time. We lived in the country on back country gravel roads. We were not the first group they plowed out. Sometimes we were the last. I have been known to go stir crazy after a few days. The first couple of days are great. I got caught up on my work; I found fun things to do; I played with the kids, and I baked. But after awhile that got old. I am a very social person and I need to visit with people other than my own family. I am a shopper so I needed to shop. While on the ark I am thinking there are not many places you can go or too many things that can be accomplished. I am pretty sure I would have gone crazy waiting patiently on God to do what he needed to do.
 
“The waters flooded the earth for a hundred and fifty days.” (Genesis 7:25) If you take 150 and divide it by 30 that is approximately five months. Then poor Noah had to wait another seven days. He waited seven days a couple more times before the dove was sent out and did not return. I am glad God chose Noah. Noah had the patience to wait it out; me not so much I fear.
 
I am not sure Noah knew what all or how long all of this was going to take place. It didn’t bother Noah. He trusted in God. He patiently waited for God to clean the earth. I have mentioned before God has given me bits and pieces of what His will is for me. He has never entrusted me with the information of when it will all take place or how long I have to wait. I have been known to get quite impatient waiting on God to move.

 
It is not in us as humans (at least most of us) to be patient and wait upon God to move. We wait for a day or two and then we are ready to help God move things along. We want answers quickly. We want our clouds rolled away before the next group of clouds come in. In this day and age we have microwaves that give us instant hot coffee or warm food. We have text messages that gives us answers to our questions without waiting. Instead of developing pictures we take a picture with our camera and in the next instant look at it or show it to others. We are people who can’t wait.
 
Can you imagine waiting on an ark with smelly animals, lots of rain and little room to move about while God is cleaning the earth? Along with Noah’s attributes of being loving, faithful and very trusting I think you could add patience to his long list.
 
This month I am learning to be a little more patient with people. I am learning to be more tolerant of those who slow me down or keep me from moving at the pace I want to go. I am learning it’s best to stop and look around at the many blessings God has given me instead of rushing from one thing to the next.
 
How are you doing with patience this month? How are you surviving with all that is going on in your life? Patience has not been one of my greatest virtues, but with God’s help I will add it to the mix with all the other fruits and in the end I may be surprised at what God is doing in my life.
Dear God: I admire Noah for all the things he went through and for the patience to see it to the end. Thank you for helping him survive all the things he had to go through like rain every day for a really long time. Thank you for the relationships that grew stronger as they had to learn to deal with each other on a daily basis with all the smells and the discomfort. Help us as we journey toward patience this month. Amen

Glimpses into What is Waiting for Us

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As I sit here it is Good Friday. This has been a tremendous and powerful week already. I am convinced God gives us glimpses into Heaven so we can run the race called life and we can endure to the end.

A group of us decided we’d anoint the organization and the building where I volunteer. I was involved in doing this in another location at another time. I saw that organization go from struggling to successful. I don’t know why ( God knew why) but we decided we’d do this on a Wednesday and we picked the Wednesday before Maundy Thursday. We started out listening to music and then we went into prayer. As I sat there and listened to the prayers of the people it was as if a warm fuzzy blanket came down over us. The Holy Spirit’s Presence was among us. As we went from room to room anointing each room and as the prayers for each was given the Presence became stronger. We finished in the back in an area that was wide open. As we finished one of our faithfuls had a song for us to listen to. We finished with the song. As I closed my eyes to listen to the words the Holy Spirit poured himself over me. I knew I had been in God’s Presence and I knew I had been blessed. Being there at that time and feeling His Presence was overwhelming. I closed with a few words of blessings. I wanted them to know how blessed I was to not only be in their company and to feel God’s Presence, but I also knew I was blessed by it. I could feel the Holy Spirit pouring his anointing oil over me. It was amazing. All I could think of was, “this must be a taste of Heaven.”

I finished that evening with the Bible Study I had started earlier in Lent. It was the study of Job. I gained new insight into the true meaning of Job and all that he went through. Again I felt God’s Presence in this place. As we were finishing up a young lady from a distant country who has been attending out church for awhile spoke. She told us how blessed she has been by being in her first Bible Study done in English. She made a mention of how much the church and its people meant to her. The day ended as it had started with a strong feeling of the Holy Spirit’s Presence being felt.

Maundy Thursday came and I really expected the feeling to disappear, but I went throughout the day feeling as if He was still as close as He was the day before. The Maundy Thursday service arrived with much anticipation. We had a visit from Judas and my eyes were opened to his story and his choices. I soon found myself thinking one slight decision off course and I could end up being a Judas. We all make choices…some good, some bad, but choices we make. We are human and sometimes our choices are not always in the best interests of others. I was quickly reminded it would be easy to fall just as Judas had done.

As a new day started my husband had surgery and I was blessed by all the prayers that had been said for him. The minor surgery went quite well. God is good all the time.

As I sit here and reflect the past few days I am reminded that during the storms of life God gives us glimpses into what is waiting for us. We just have to be open and aware of those times he gives us. I always have difficulty with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. To be reminded of all Christ went through just so we might have life is sometimes daunting. I often want to go from Palm Sunday to Easter morning and the empty tomb, but Christ didn’t design it that way. We have to experience what He experienced so we can appreciate what he really did for us. We have to experience dying on the cross so that more of Him can become alive in us.Colossians 3:3-7 “For, as far as this world is concerned, you are already dead, and your true life is a hidden one in God, through Christ.”

Revelation 21:1 “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.” I may not have seen a new heaven and a new earth, but I did get a glimpse into what is waiting for us if we finish the race and hang in there with Christ.

I still have Good Friday and Easter morning to experience and I can’t wait. God has given me the patience to make it through by giving me pieces of himself. We’ve all read the book we know how it ends, but it’s much pleasanter when we actually experience it like I did this week.

I pray your Holy Week and Easter finds yourself miles ahead of where you have been. I pray that you will experience less of yourself and find more of God living in you. May your thirst this season be quenched with the Living Water that he offers us. God bless.

Dear Lord, you know how hard this week is for me sometimes. You were gracious enough to give me a glimpse into heaven so I could endure this week and run the race. Thank you for all the blessings and anointing from this week. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. Guide us as we remember what you sent your son to do so we might have life. Be with us as we journey toward the empty tomb. Amen

Jesus, Holy Week and Patience

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We are beginning Holy Week as I sit here. This is the month we are talking about patience in our study of the Fruits of the Spirit. I was pondering how Jesus displayed patience as he drew near the end of his life. Then it occurred to me.

The whole week was about him being patient with all that was going on. I think it began with Palm Sunday. I am not sure Jesus was about being the center of attention in a parade. We know from all the years of his teachings it was always about God and doing God’s will, but here we see him riding on a donkey and having palm branches waving at him. I think he had to be patient and endure this parade knowing it was for the people and not for himself. It wasn’t his idea it was someone else’s idea. He was tolerant when it came to honoring him. I know someone people who would never stand for being honored. They just want to be a “behind the scenes” kind of person and to get honor would be beyond them. I am not sure Jesus wanted this kind of honor.

Later we see Christ having the Last Supper with his disciples. We know Judas was with them at the time. For me Christ showed a huge amount of patience with Judas knowing what Judas was about to do. Me being human I am not sure I could be as tolerant with Judas as Christ was. John 13:27, “As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him. So Jesus told him, “What you are about to do, do quickly.” I can only imagine Jesus saying this in a very timid voice with a lot of patience.

After teaching the Disciples for three years about being a servant we see again at the Last Supper the Disciples still have not gotten it. As Christ bends down to wash the feet of His Disciples we see Simon Peter questioning Jesus about washing his feet. John 13 shows us again Jesus has patience as yet he teaches them again about servanthood, “When Jesus had washed their feet and put on His outer garments, He reclined with them again and asked, Do you know what I have done for you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and rightly so, because I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them. (verses 12-17)

Later that night we see Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane with three of his Disciples. He simply asks them to stay awake, watch and pray. Three times he finds them sleeping. It doesn’t say he yelled at them or got angry with them. It simply says he asked them, “Could you men not watch with me for one hour? (Matthew 26:40). It says the next time he found them sleeping he doesn’t even say anything to them. The third time he says the the hour is near. I am not very tolerant of people whom I have asked to do something and found they haven’t done it. I have had to ask my husband (as many wives do) several times to do something for me before it gets done. Too many times I have become impatient with my husband and said things I later regret. Christ shows a lot of patients with these guys.

Throughout the rest of the Holy Week we see Jesus being patient as he waits for his final hours. He is patient as they take him away from the garden. As he is being brought before the elders and teachers of the law he shows a great deal of patience. Standing there listening to all they have to say to him and saying very little. Being beaten and not fighting back shows a great deal of patience. I am afraid I’d be fighting back. I am not sure I could stand there and take what they were dishing out.

From carrying his own cross to having nails driven into his hands to being mocked and made fun of to dying on the cross Jesus shows us tolerance. How could he show so much patience toward all of these people in all of these situations? How could he be patient enough to ask for forgiveness for them?

Christ knew what He was called to do. Christ knew what God’s will was for His life. Christ kept that in front of Him at all times. Christ never forgot what He was to do. He had to be tolerant so He could fulfill God’s plan for salvation. He had to be patient so God’s plan for us would be fulfilled.

When God calls me to something many times I am not told of the whole plan. Many times I am not given minute by minute details of what I am supposed to be doing and when. Often times I get impatient not knowing all the plans or the details. God gave me a vision of something I was to do. Three years later parts of the vision came into being. You think I had patience those three years?

If it had been me I wouldn’t have wanted this to drag out all week. I would have said let’s just get this done. But, Christ knew God’s plan. He knew the things that had to be put into place for all of this to be accomplished.

He knew the details. I believe Christ knew the details and because he was all about doing his Father’s business he was tolerant and showed a great deal of patience throughout the whole week.

I have just had a thought. Maybe by showing us how patient and tolerant he was doing Holy Week He gave us an example of how we should live our lives during some of our darkest days. If Christ can be patient during some of his darkest days maybe we can live through some of our darkest days. Christ came through on the third day and He arose and was triumph over death. Not only do we have salvation because of what Christ did for us, but it also shows us if we hang in there we will be come through whatever we are facing. Christ trusted God and things turned out well for him even after some of his darkest days. If we hang in there and trust God, fully rely on him things will turn out well for us.

Our patience may run thin this week with all the extra services and all the extra things that need to get done, but if we stay focused on God things will turn out well for us and we will certainly enjoy the celebration. I am sure after his darkest days there was a bit of celebrating going on when Christ returned home and there is one waiting for us when we make it there.

Dear God: You taught Christ to be patient and tolerant of the many things he had to face and endure. He hung in there. He hung in there because he knew what he needed to do to accomplish your will. Help us to be patient, to endure and to be tolerant when you call us to do your will. Help us to stay focused. Amen