Kindness

Colleen Elisabeth Chao

Colleen Elisabeth Chao is an editor and author. She enjoys dark-dark chocolate, side-splitting laughter, and half-read books piled bedside. She makes her home near Boise, Idaho, with her husband Eddie, their son Jeremy, and Willow the dog. 

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Kindness

Kindness

Kindness

This past year has been one of the hardest of my life. My hubby will say the same. We watched the bottom drop out from underneath us, and at times fear and fatigue overwhelmed our faith.

It’s been one thing after another, but it hasn’t been bloggable stuff. How do you write about the darkest days that threaten to undo you? How do you make sense of what feels like “too much”? No, it’s been for a small circle of dear ones—with the hope that the “comfort we have received” from our Abba during this time, we would soon be able to share freely with many others who are hurting (2 Corinthians 1:4).

Last month we began to feel the edges of relief. I think I’d been holding my breath for the larger part of a year, but I started breathing again. Thinking more clearly. Hoping more boldly.

I’ve always loved asking friends, after they’ve come through a season of suffering, “What held you through that time? What kept you going?” I’ve asked myself the same thing, and I would have to say that among the many tender mercies along the way, more than anything it has been the kindness of God that has carried us along.

He has shown us kindness in a thousand ways, manifested in dozens of people. From complete strangers to dear family members, we have received one kindness after another: bags of groceries, prayers, cards of encouragement, gifts of money, listening ears, flowers left on our front porch, favorite drinks delivered to our front door. The list could go on….

Kindness is so powerful, isn’t it?

When I’m in a vulnerable place of suffering, it’s easy for me to forget what is true: that God is kind. He is not mean. Our circumstances may be mean, but in the hand of a kind God, they are transformed for our good. Are you in a tender, suffering place, dear one? Then let this Scripture wash over your soul tonight. Hear the heart of your Abba in His words…

“I led them with cords of kindness,
with the bands of love,
and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
and I bent down to them and fed them.” Hosea 11:4

Fellow pilgrim and wounded soul, we entrust our lives to a kind God. A God who is for us and with us and in us, forever expressing the riches of His kindness to us in Christ Jesus (Romans 2:4, Ephesians 2:7, Galatians 5:22).

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