Hugging the Cactus


     In I Corinthians 13:4, we are told that "love is patient, love this kind".  The deeper meaning of these words is that, "love suffers long". In Jesus's post-resurrection appearances, He demonstrates how love can exceed one's expectations. The many confrontations Jesus has with Peter shows how bearing with one's personality and loving the person at the same time can be hard to do. Peter's challenge to Jesus that no harm would come to Him if He trusted that his disciples could protect Him, must have been a disappointing situation for Jesus. Rough personalities always challenge us, but we must learn how to embrace them with love, as someone once said, “It's like hugging a cactus”! Peter's grief over his denial of Jesus causes him to weep bitterly, but Jesus looks for Peter in the Galilee to restore him, knowing that Peter is suffering because of his rejection of the One he loves more than anything.
     Do you know someone that has a rough personality? Possibly your own personality is a bit rough around the edges. Jesus taught us how to love unconditionally, that is to say, "love suffers long". His goal for our lives is that we would demonstrate our love for Him as we, "love the sheep, feed the sheep, and equip the sheep", for the work of the gospel.