Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are disorderly. Comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone.
This verse speaks so loudly to me right now. We are in a period of history when patience is in very short supply. Election season is usually fraught, but this year it seems exceptionally volatile. The pandemic is creating its own divisions, some of which I’m still having trouble understanding. Some people are deliberately creating violent encounters at what are supposed to be peaceful demonstrations.
Meanwhile all the usual controversies are flaring up even hotter than the wildfires. You know, like whether or not climate change is a real thing. Whether or not endangered habitats should be opened up for industry. Whether or not everyone should have access to health care. And then there is abortion, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, the #MeToo movement. . . . the list goes on and on.
And all I can think of is me and my sister standing in our cribs, one yelling yes and one yelling no. I’m supposed to be patient with all of those people?
So many right now are feeling discouraged. Depression is increasing. Suicide is increasing. Domestic violence is increasing. In the recovery community we are seeing relapse increasing. It would be so easy some days to just throw up our hands and say, “I can’t. I just can’t. I’m done.”
Brothers and sisters . . . comfort the discouraged. Help the weak. Be patient with everyone. Including yourself.
It is a rough time right now. Trying to be patient with everyone? It’s exhausting! From time to time we will get discouraged, or feel weak and tired. When those things happen, be patient with yourself. Allow yourself time to regroup, to get back to your center, whatever that is for you. Do those things that comfort you and strengthen you - maybe prayer, maybe talking with a friend. Whatever it takes, be patient with yourself as you regain your courage and your strength to face the next thing.
Patient God, we are so grateful that your patience with us is infinite. Help us, we pray, to be patient with ourselves when we don’t think we can. Help us to find the courage and strength we need on the hard days. Through your beloved son we pray. Amen.