I can say this about a lot of things and ask:
How did he keep his mouth shut while being insulted?
How did he remain patient with people who were filled with foolish pride?
How did he maintain a loving spirit in all circumstances?
How did he stay awake? I think he must have been exhausted.
I'm projecting my thoughts onto you right now because I'm exhausted.
I'm exhausted, and in this state I'm finding it hard to maintain my compassion. My husband is suddenly experiencing chronic pain. He wakes in the middle of the night with excruciating pain in one of his hips. It's coming out of nowhere and neither of us (or his doctors) can find an explanation or solution.
It happened again, around 1:30 this morning and he woke me up as a result. Bleary-eyed, I went to get him some ibuprofen and an extra blanket, but I could hardly stay awake. The poor guy was shivering and shaking and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open. I didn't really - I just held his hand and mumbled incoherently half the time.
An hour or so later he fell into a deep sleep and spent the rest of the morning snoring. And I thought, Oh for the love of Pete, can't I get a break?
I was reminded of Christ's compassion for the sick and suffering. I felt God speaking into my spirit about the quality of His love. And I tried to do my best, I really did, but his standard is something else.
The quality of His love is supernatural.
At least, I'm in good company. His disciples had problems staying awake when they should have been exercising compassion and friendship. In the garden at Gethsemane, he instructed them to hang out while he prayed, and when he came back they were in Snoozeville.
"Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?" he asked Peter. "Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
Yep, weak flesh is what I've got.
But at least my God is strong.