Endure

” . . . endures . . .”
“Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.” (I Corinthians 13:6-8)“Please, please, please, please, please!  Come on, you can do it!  Just a little more! Pllllleassssssseeeeeeee!”  I felt like that’s what I wanted to say when I saw these blossoms starting to emerge from one of the ornamental trees on the church property.  I wanted to stand there and cheer for their efforts because somehow it felt like if those tiny blossoms could explode forth they would break the bonds of this awful winter we’ve endured and signal the success of spring’s arrival.  Okay, I admit it.  Maybe I’m a little desperate.  It’s been a tough winter and most of us have had to endure it!

I guess when difficulties besiege us it’s normal to look for the way out, the way around, or maybe even the quick and easy way through.  In many situations we’re taught to run our lives, our businesses, etc. in the most efficient, cost effective manner.  Using that model it would make sense, then, that we avoid situations where resolution of difficulties might not even be in the foreseeable future and the waste of resources by remaining would seem senseless.  What is it we say . . . “Cut our losses and run?” But then there’s that phrase – “make sense.”

Relationships don’t make sense, at least not in the “cut your losses and run” sort of way.  For me that’s exactly what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, “Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.”  We need to take a hard look at that when we live in a “cut your losses and run” sort of culture.  Endurance is a radical concept in a “cut your losses and run” world.  For me, to say that love endures does not mean that love never ends in a relationship.  However, I also believe that when love is nurtured then it has the ability to enable us to endure long enough to seek the help we might find to resolve our difficulties.

Since we’re living in a country where half of first marriages end in divorce and I know a lot of folks reading this have been through a divorce, I find it a little tricky to talk about this “love endures” stuff.  I don’t want folks who have been divorced to think that I’m being judgmental.  I’m not!  However, if no one talks about the need to nurture love in relationships so that love can endure when necessary, then it seems to me that we just help more divorces happen.  I’ve spoken with lots of folks who have been divorced and I don’t think a single one of them would want it to happen to someone else.  That’s why I’m lifting up the need for us to once more look at the need for nurturing love in all our relationships that can endure, because every relationship will encounter some long, excruciating winters.  When love is in the enduring phase, life is probably not as comfortable, fulfilling, or enjoyable as we might like.  However, enduring the difficult winter can lead to the joy of spring-like renewal in many relationships.  Enduring love might not make sense in a “cut your losses and run” world, but enduring love certainly makes sense in God’s world of relating.

God’s most enduring love for us was revealed in the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  As we continue through this season of Lent I plan to focus more on this love that endures.  I pray that God will help me nurture that kind of love in all my relationships.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.


My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on April 2, 2014.

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