In early May, a woman hiking with friends in the Clifty Wilderness area of eastern Kentucky injured her leg and could not walk. The Wolfe County Search and Rescue team was dispatched to carry her out. She was several miles off the trail. They arrived and gave first aid. Then they placed her on a rescue stretcher. They carried her several miles over rugged terrain. At one point they waded a mile down a creek. It took nearly 33 hours for the rescue team to bring her to safety.*
Wow! Talk about bearing a load. Can you imagine being one of a few people carrying another up and down steep hills and through the water and rocks of a stream bed for over a day? That was hard work! You and I would be exhausted!
I want you to keep that picture in mind when you hear Ephesians 4:2, which says, “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”(NIV)
In this verse, being patient is described as “bearing with one another.” The same word can be translated “put up with one another” or “endure one another.” It is the picture of that rescue squad carrying the injured woman. Patience is sometimes very hard work. We may have to put up with irritating people. We may feel exhausted with the effort. But God’s Spirit gives us the patience to endure.
*TJ Caudill, “One for the record books: Wolfe County Search and Rescue team rescues hiker,” WYMT.com, May. 3, 2021, https://www.wymt.com/2021/05/03/one-for-the-record-books-wolfe-county-search-and-rescue-team-rescues-hiker/
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.