To serve (Part VI)
We will continue talking about “serving” and today we will discuss about: patience.
How can we practice this virtue and whose example shall we follow?
Even if we go through difficult situations, traumas, problems and vicissitudes, when we are invited and accept to have a personal and true encounter with the Lord Jesus, all our past turns into experiences and testimonies.
When Jesus was with His disciples, the inner baggage that they carried was still visible since they still had not been baptized with the Holy Spirit. Therefore, their vision had not yet become spiritual, as we see in this verse:
“Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.” Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” (John 13: 6-8)
Notice how patient the Lord Jesus was in understanding Peter’s time…
Usually we do not show this type of patience with people around us. We usually want to be accepted, be understood, but we hardly put ourselves in someone else’s shoes, especially when we think that they do not share the same “spiritual vision” as we do.
Sometimes we accuse, criticize, and say, “He or she does not want to listen; I have spoken to them a thousand times, I already spoke, counseled … He or she does not want to do with anything…”
Notice that the Lord Jesus “risked Himself” by investing in men who had not yet been born of God, He taught them, by living among them as the very example of humility and patience!
But, why? Because His intimacy with God made Him know that, in time, the Father would multiply the word sown within each one of them.
The Lord Jesus knew that Peter did not understand His words, and that is why He did not accuse him, nor did He insist, or put a burden on him that he knew he could not bear.
Instead, He taught him obedience, which would be the only thing he needed at that moment to remain in the same spirit of unity.
And even with the “son of perdition” – Judas – Jesus was patient, not rushing his time, but giving him continuous opportunities to repent during the time they were together.
Our intolerance and lack of patience with others can reveal a kind of “arrogant spirit” that separates us from the main purpose which God has called us: to reach the souls. We cannot say that the Lord Jesus was “different” because He was made flesh to feel and face exactly the same challenges as we did.
But there is a small “detail” which can change everything: The Lord Jesus did not look to himself!
He did not expect to receive to give
He did not expect to be understood to understand;
He did righteousness in favor of the Kingdom of God, not based on His feelings;
He did not expect to be understood to convey the truth; He knew that the revelation of God would come at the right time through the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
He was patient because He was patient in the certainty of the fulfillment of God’s plan for each life, starting with His.
When we try to understand each person as we have been understood by God, we become part of them, we share their stories, and that way we have the privilege to have access to their “baggage” and that way be used by God to help that person. There is no way for you to be given this “space” or have this type of access if you do not choose to give yourself to others first!
“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (Luke 6: 38)
We must empty ourselves like the Lord Jesus did, so that through our surrender and care for our own soul – first – we can have the chance to reach many.