Love Lessons - Practicing Patience and Kindness

Love is patient, love is kind. —1 Corinthians 13:4a NIV

They had one child. She was born with cerebral palsy. She needed the kind of care that made them realize she should probably be their only one. They invested their lives in blessing her with love and kindness and abundant patience. They tried everything to help her walk and talk and learn. There were setbacks. There were vacations they never took and dreams never fulfilled. Yet, the three of them were incredibly happy as they loved and cared for one another—and their daughter gave back with joy radiating from her. There was no spotlight on them. They lived out their quiet lives in England, neighbors to my grandmother, loving their precious daughter. Love is patient, love is kind.

He’s got a bad limp in one leg. His hands are gnarled from arthritis. None of this stops him from serving his wife, who is more handicapped than he is. He cooks. He cleans. He administers pills. He does the inside chores and the outside chores in his painstakingly slow, limping way. He has no days off. He asks for no help. He loves his wife of over fifty years and so he serves her in his own quiet way, seeking no attention or applause. Love is patient, love is kind.

“I’ve cared for my mother for over twenty years,” she told me. “She needs to be turned every three hours, and I’ve been careful. She’s never had a bedsore.” I looked at this lovely middle-aged woman, who is also a wife and mother, and marveled. Every. Night. Waking up at odd hours to turn her mama and make sure her body did not lie in one place too long. Quiet service that brought her deep joy. Love is patient, love is kind.

She’s raising her grandchildren. It certainly wasn’t what she intended, but it became clear that the children needed a safe place to live. Instead of golfing with their friends, she and her husband are changing diapers and planning school schedules. They’ve added foster children to the home as well. They saw a need and met it. They’re tired. Yet they are content. They are doing what they feel God has called them to do and they are doing it without resentment or self-pity. They just accept what life has handed them and go on with the business of living it out. It’s a happy home where love reigns. Love is patient, love is kind.

You know them. You see the ones who quietly receive with grace and acceptance whatever hard thing has entered their lives. I have this thought that in Heaven when the crowns are given out and when the Lord Jesus speaks the beautiful words, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:40 NIV)these unsung heroes will be honored. And I suspect they won’t really understand what the fuss is all about. For you see, they gained as much as they gave. The life lessons—kindness and patience, letting go of old dreams and embracing with love a new reality, living unselfishly—will have shaped them so beautifully that they will feel as if they had been rewarded already. That’s the way it is with those who love. Love given selflessly is given back in beautiful character and a unity with the God who is love.

Speaking of that … if God is love—and He is—then God is patient, God is kind. We, who are so needy and so unworthy of the attention of a good and mighty God, bow in gratitude as the recipients of a kindness and patience so great that He left Heaven to rescue us. Marvel with me at these words in the book of Titus, “But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:4-7 NIV).

Father God, help me to love with patience and kindness those who may come unexpectedly into my life with great needs. Help me to love with patience and kindness all who come into my life. Mold and shape me to be more like You, and help me to love as You do. Thank You for Your patience and kindness with me! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

You are loved,
Sharon

 

 

Sweet Selah Ministries

Vision
To encourage a movement away from the belief that “busy is better”
and toward the truth that stillness and knowing God matter most—
and will be reflected in more effective work and service

Mission 
To offer resources and retreats that help women pause (Selah)
and love God more deeply as they know Him more intimately (Sweet)

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4 Responses to “Love Lessons - Practicing Patience and Kindness”

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  1. Dottie Donovan says:

    Thank you for these wonderful words to start my week.

  2. Margharet Fowler says:

    Beautiful stories, beautiful people, definitely inspiring, thank you.

    • Sharon Gamble says:

      Isn't it wonderful to know that God sees all these stories unfolding? He has His eye on the quiet servants across the earth. I love that.

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