Bears All Things

Sketch by Patrick Murphy:

“Love…bears all things….” (1 Cor. 13:6-7).

Considering what Jesus suffered when He died on the cross, is there anything the Lord wouldn’t call us to bear in love?

We all have an internal line that says, “I will only take this much and no more.” This is fine because it is our boundary.  But suppose Jesus within has a different boundary.  What then?

Jesus did ask to be spared the cross.  He expressed His boundary.  Then He said, “Yet not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39).  Christ is our example.  More than that, He is the one who lives within us, who still may say, “Yet not as I will….”

This isn’t to say the Christian life is all woe and misery or that there’s never a time to stand up for ourselves.  Ecclesiastes says there is “a time for every activity under heaven” (Eccl. 3:1).

But failing to stand up for ourselves isn’t usually our problem.  We are too full of our own rights, too full of outrage.  It may be that the still small voice of Christ within is drowned out when He asks us to bear all things with Him.

To be sure, if Jesus calls us to bear anything in love, His grace will be sufficient, and will share the load.  We are never alone, even in the most unfair or painful situations.  

Jesus predicted His disciples would leave Him alone when the cross came.  Yet He said, “I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (John 16:32).  Jesus preferred being with the Father—even in pain—over being comfortable but on His own.

Lord, help us to discern when to keep our own boundaries and when you are calling us to give up our boundaries.  Teach us to bear all things with you when you call, trusting that your grace is sufficient to the moment.  Live in us so we may love you and desire your will more than our own.  

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