Characteristics of the Kingdom: Enduring

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This year, I have been amazed at just how fragile so many things are. Our healthcare system, supply chains, even societal rules for harmonious living have all crumbled to some extent during this pandemic. But the most surprising of all, to me, is how fragile people see the church during this time. One of the things that I’ve loved most about this season is seeing people of faith continuing to be people of faith, regardless of circumstances.

Even while many of us are still doing church in our homes, we haven’t stopped being the church. I’ve heard stories of people coming to this faith online and getting plugged into a church online during this season. While we’re all experiencing Zoom-fatigue, people are still leaning into God and connecting with his people. Families are growing closer as they’re able to worship together and individuals are taking a more active part in their faith these days. Even if churches are physically closed, the Kingdom is still enduring. Faith, hope, and love can’t be stopped, no matter what the circumstances around us may look like.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.

“The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.

“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’

“‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.'” Matthew 13:24-29 (NIV)

When I have read through these verses before, I always focused on the good vs. evil of it all. I hadn’t taken the time to notice the patient endurance of the farmer. This man was so wise; he didn’t react harshly to this horrific news. Instead, he allowed the crops to grow and speak for themselves. This farmer valued life and wasn’t willing to potentially destroy the good crops because of the infiltration of the bad. He saw things from a higher perspective and knew he could outlast the schemes of his enemy.

We endure a lot and it seems like things are not getting any easier. As things grow more dark and tumultuous we will be asked to endure even more, not giving up hope in our God’s unending faithfulness. We can patiently persevere, allowing wisdom and character to develop within us.

I am reminded that Jesus is patient with me so that I can be patient with others. He endured so much during his short life here on earth; he provides an example to me in how we are to live. I take immense comfort in the fact that the Kingdom will outlast anything and everything we may face. So I can persevere, not because of my own strength, but by resting in his. By fixing my eyes on him and his eternal perspective, I can endure.

How have you experienced the enduring patience of God?

How does the everlasting nature of the Kingdom change how you think and live?

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