I have been waiting with great excitement for Bob Goff's new book, "Everybody Always", to be released. It finally arrived in the mail!!
I have no commitments, Geoff is working, no kids and grab my snuggly blanket and find my spot on the couch. I love the feel of opening a brand new book. As I turn the pages, I come to the first chapter .. CREEPY PEOPLE!! UGH Bob, really!!! It is about loving difficult people. "Love one another." What is simple, often isn't easy; what is easy, often doesn't last.
Every year I choose a word and try to live by that word, this year I felt patience was being pressed (maybe pounded) on my heart. This is so hard for me. It takes a lot of patience to love difficult people. I am sure Bob and Jesus are out to get me!!
Stupid book, I am already feeling convicted! I have been guilty of this, stopped by fear to love someone or allow them to get too close. Or the big one for me, loving them after I have been hurt, sticking my hand back in the fire. Now, if you know me, you know I also love the book "Boundaries" by Townsend and Cloud. I am not talking about loving the people that are toxic, unsafe and enjoy stirring the pot. God gave us discernment and we should use it.
If I only love the people who are nice to me and share my opinions and avoid the rest, it's like reading every other page of the Bible.
It is easy to love the people who love me. But to love my enemies? I love LOVE and shouldn't that include EVERYBODY?
The only way I can do this is through the love of Jesus and IMMENSE PATIENCE.
Love can be so messy and when people walk away it hurts. People wander away from Jesus all the time but he never leaves them. He pursues them, I want to chase them but I have learned (OUCH) that they run faster and farther when I am doing the chasing. So I have to practice IMMENSE PATIENCE and wait and love them where they are. Do not think this is easy for me, there are many tears shed and possibly screaming!
I am REALLY trying, I promise, please have immense patience with me!
I have recently learned that I do not have to go find my missing friends, I can rest that God knows where they are. He loves them and is with them. Just like He was for me when I was wandering. And the best is yet to come.
This doesn't mean I won't speak truth, and if you're reading this, you are welcome to speak truth over my life anytime. I will pray about it and to the best of my ability speak it in love. And then try to let it go, again PATIENCE!
Bob Goff talks about literately buying a galvanized bucket and caring it around to remind himself to fill it up with patience. He said whatever you fill your bucket up with, you will become. So if you fill it with a bunch of business deals you will become business people. That is not what I want. I want to be love, and love is patient. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud." –1 Corinthians
I may need to go buy a bucket as a reminder, in my everyday life! When I am trying to get out the door and Geoff has one more joke to tell me (as if I haven't heard it) or when Madison and the girls ask to play house and I have to be the naughty child! Are you kidding I have things to do!! They can all see right thru me and my lack of patience, just like Jesus can see thru me.
Ironically as I was writing this, I looked out my dining room window and I see my Dad peaking in!! As soon as he see's me, he has a big smile. I invite him in to visit all the time, watching the clock. My dad asked what are you writing about... UGH, REALLY? Patience, yes Jesus I hear you! If I can't do it with the people I am closest with how will I do it with strangers?
I am still going to mess up, and He is not finished with me yet. So if this is you, cut yourself some grace and maybe try a bigger bucket!
If not a bucket, how will you remind yourself to have patience? Comment below or on our Facebook post by May 9th for a chance to win Bob Goff's books "Love Does" and "Everybody Always."