Life: Bring it on!
The other day, I was at a friend’s house and saw a plaque on their wall. It quoted the verse in Matthew 19 (verse 14) that says, “But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”
It was one of those modern, easy-to-read translations of the Bible that it was quoting, however, so it said something like, “Let little children come to me…” whatever.
It intrigued me. It was one of those moments where you take a couple of disparate things that you’ve known for a long time and you put them together all of a sudden and form a new thought.
I looked that verse up in the KJV, and in the footnotes, it confirmed what I’d always believed (and what the newer retranslation implied). That being that the greek word that was translated as “suffer” meant, in this case, “permit or allow”.
That’s nothing new, of course. The connection that happened for me was when I suddenly started thinking about the word, “longsuffering”. Now, I’d always assumed that it meant someone that patiently endured all the suffering, misery, and hardships of life in anticipation of something better in the hereafter. It’s OK to be miserable now, because it’s going to be better after we die.
But if we substitute those meanings, it has another implication to me. Suddenly “longsuffering” becomes, “longpermitting”. It feels to me like a person who humbly accepts whatever life brings, allows it to happen, and responds to it. Their whole life.
I know that I’m probably splitting hairs, here, but having a longpermitting attitude seems to be a bit brighter than a longsuffering one.