I was recently in the Sistine Chapel; it was a visit that was a decade in the making. As I walked in there, I was elated. As a teenager, I always wanted to see Michaelangelo’s creation that was the ceiling of the Chapel. It took him four years to paint that ceiling. It took a toll on his mind, and his body. However, whenever people speak of Rome, they talk about him. Whenever they talk about Chapels, they mention his name. It is impossible to talk of paintings and leave Michaelangelo out. I do not know if he thought he was creating a masterpiece when he was commissioned by the Pope to paint the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in 1508. When I witnessed his paintings of the prophets and the Genesis story, I was certainly impressed. However, I was more moved by his portrait of the prophet Jeremiah, as it was a self-portrait.

I was astonished by the image, as it was the only one that truly exemplified the suffering and lamentations of Prophet Jeremiah. Any Bible reader would have looked at that image and thought ‘Aha Jeremiah!’ Michaelangelo identified with Jeremiah and his difficulties, did he know that his suffering was giving birth to an international masterpiece? Decades and centuries have come and gone, and his work is still evident to all. The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is one of the glories of the Vatican, and as long as the Catholic Church exists, the Sistine Chapel will be protected.

Longsuffering is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as; ‘patiently enduring lasting offense or hardship.’ It is a virtue that is not common to all. It is not equivalent to being a doormat; it is a sign you understand that several things are more important than your comfort and pleasure. It is a symbol that you appreciate that suffering for a moment may yield sweet fruit in the future. Only those who toil and farm the land can reap the rewards. Choosing longsuffering implies that we understand that only the grave is free of troubles, and all suffering will come to and end.

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Long suffering is also referred to as ‘the character of patience’; it is the way you act in the midst of trouble and affliction. It is not a simple matter of hard work, it is also about your character while working hard, and enduring your quiet or turbulent seasons. It is the evidence of you choosing peace. It is a difficult road to take, and it is one done in steps and seconds. If we choose longsuffering, it implies that every time something within us wants to lash out, to yell in rage, to return fire for fire, or recompense the wicked for their evil doing, we choose to wait patiently.

In the words of Jesus, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Jn 16:33 NKJV

Life will be difficult. We will have bad days, encounter bullies and harsh terrain but our attitude during our troubles will make all the difference. You never know, you may be creating your masterpiece just like Michaelangelo.

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Until next time. Dami loves.

You may also like to read; Avoid Conflict- Choose Peace , Choose Happiness