Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Can You Suffer Long?

“A friend loves at all times…” Proverbs 17:17.  Some days I like you and some days I do not.  Yet, I am devoted to you.  In the happy little dances of your heart I will lend flavor.  Though the seasons of long languish slow my successes, I will surround you.  I remain yours faithful for I have learned to suffer long….
All times.  The call to bear up from underneath is for all times.  It shrugs at inconvenience and winces naturally when in pain… .but it remains through all times.  We cannot deny that a great over-arching council of the Scriptures is to remain faithful at all times.  And we can deny even less that this is a call full of complications and nuances that require our active engagement and constant intercession.  To be a faithful friend, one must stay alert.  We must watch and pay attention.  Life is not cut and dry or easily generalized.  Our human companion is alive and this fact is not readily defined by all of our statistics.  
Faithfulness empowers us to suffer long with a living soul.  I could not pretend for an instance to make any steadfast remarks on faithfulness.  Each man or woman is before their God on this matter.  Faithfulness may happen from distances, without words, only in prayer or through a refusal to concede to a temptations…. .in these things, we are before our God.  Yet, this I know, a friend, a true friend who has committed themselves to bear up under our load through all seasons of life, does so at all times.  A true friend has learned to suffer long for our sake in whatever capacity they find necessary to do so.  They commit to half…
..and only half… .but forever.
In this busy, busy world long suffering seems an enemy, however, it is the honest foothold of our intercession.  We busy humans can so busily cast off our commitment to half when it hinders our successes.  I implore you to remember… .this is what Immanuel came for - to take half of our load on Himself and give us half of His.  Friends.  True companions in suffering long.  A vibrant intercession for the other’s cause.  This is what He came for.  Are you a friend?  Can you suffer long under half of a burden?  
“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden in light,” Matthew 11:28-30.  
Notice the exchange of burdens.  Immanuel invites us to be with Him.  To suffer long with His burden of love while He suffers long with our burden of recovery.  Friendship.  We are invited to be eternally faithful to this exchange.. .and to intercede, to bear up and lift up, in long suffering for humanity as well… .Forget convenience! 

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