Monday, March 9, 2009


Patience is most needed where it's hardest to give.
Let me restate that:
Patience is hardest to give where it's most needed.

I recently spent the weekend with my hyper excited, energetic eight-year-old stepgrandson. He is a ball of fire, and prone to explosions at very unexpected times. Just when you think we've got it all settled about what we're doing, he will go 180 degrees and claim utter confusion. So we start all over again. >sigh<
He needs (and deserves) a LOT of patience. He is a whole new basket of lessons for me! An outburst and sulk in a restaurant teaches me about getting his attention, speaking slowly and clearly, and making sure he is focused on what I say.

The patience he needs is the patience I'm hard pressed to find.
But the patience he needs, I really NEED to learn.

It's like this with most kids. I remember his mom trying to get me to blow up just so she could smugly say, I know you'd get mad at me! And now I'm relearning those lessons. Thank you Lord. Wasn't once enough? (Apparently not!)
The kids you don't need patience with would be the easiest to be indulgent with. They sit quietly and listen intently and remember exactly. (Do those really exist?)

But the kids who demand most out of you (and many stepchildren seem to fall into this category), are the ones who NEED your patient indulgence most. They are the ones who have had the roughest time, who've lost the most, who've been the most damaged by their parents' divorce.

These are the kids who are looking to you, out of the corner of their eyes, for some spark or divine longsuffering. Indulgence. Patience. Forgiveness. Unconditional love.

No one else is as qualified as you. No one else sees the good in them - perhaps just from looking at their parent whom you love you can see their potential. If you can out last them, you will win their love. If you can out love their tests, you will earn it.

Never give up on this new family of yours. You promised. They are counting on you. Show them.

Remember 1 Corinthians 10:13 …

Every test that you have experienced is the kind that normally comes to people. But God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out.


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