But, no matter who we are, there are days. There are times when you feel as if you have been just as kind, patient, and gentle as you could possibly be. There are times when you just cannot take another whine from someone else. There are days where you just have to close a door and spend a moment in quiet or you are going to explode.
This is where love gets its greatest test. At that point where you reach the breaking point. Where you feel that someone else needs to be patient, that someone else needs to be gentle, that someone else needs to listen to what you want to say to them. People whine and complain endlessly. People devour your time in nonsensical things. People never repay the kindnesses you have given to them. There is a point where you just want to give up and blow up and let it all out.
The tendency of people to decide that they have been "patient enough" is merely one more sin. What makes you think that there is such a point? I am not told "be patient enough" but "be patient." I am not told "be gentle enough" but "be gentle." The measure is never outside of myself. It is about who I am.
We talk about someone being "more patient" than we are, but that is really a false concept. We are either patient or we are not patient. We either are gentle or we are not. Being gentle for a few days is not being gentle. Being patient for a few hours is not being patient.
Hard Days arise for us. Days where the people in our lives seem worse than usual. Days where something goes wrong and sets us off. Days where we snap a little, where we bark a little, where we are not patient with someone. Days where, after we have sinned, we excuse it by remembering how patient we were before we were not patient anymore.
Hard Days come. Being patient is about always being patient. The fruit of the Spirit is not gentleness "up to a point" but gentleness itself. The fruit of the Spirit is not reasonable patience, but patience itself.
Do not let the Hard Days beat you. The defeat in such cases is not just for a moment or even for the Hard Day. It is a defeat of everything you want to be, everything God is making you to be.
Hard Days are the test. Do not fail it.