Three things I could be better at. Jesus made it clear that the two most important things a human can do is love God with everything we’ve got and love every neighbor along our path. Paul, in his two longest letters makes two beautiful and powerful attempts to define/describe love — in 1 Corinthians 13 and here in Romans 12. I think it’s fair to say that both Paul and Jesus are making the point that if your life is broken, it’s your love — not your brain or your body — that needs repair. When I’m honest with myself, I’d say I’m usually nervous in hope, panicky in affliction and pleading in prayer. I just love the way Paul sandwiches affliction between hope and prayer. Isn’t that an amazingly realistic definition of what life is really like? Whatever our biggest problem is: that’s our affliction, and God wants us to apply our hope and prayer to that. I think I’m decent at ‘joyful’ and ‘faithful,’ but impatience is my downfall. Perhaps you’ve heard that when folks put their hand through a plate of glass, the bad injury happens when they yank their arm back. Politicians and financial people usually end up in deep trouble not for the wrong-doing but the cover-up. A central part of love for God and people is being calm when affliction comes and giving God time to work. I sure need to learn that. You? As our normal world resumes, I wish you joy, patience and faithfulness in Jesus today.
Lord, forgive me for trying to master everything in my life but love — the most important thing. In my hope/affliction/prayer I will practice your joy/patience/faithfulness this day. Amen.