My devotional reading posed a question that I could not answer in the limited space given! How do you sum up in only a few words such an all-encompassing question as In what ways has God shown you patience?
Oh my! Well. For starters, God has been so patient with my lack of consistency. It effects so much! I have struggled with inconsistency most of my life. Being the personality I am, I think I naturally have a compelling need to be accepted. We all do to one degree or another, right? But coupled with being raised in a home where one of my parents was a firm and sometimes harsh and demanding perfectionist himself created a deep and often times unfulfilled need in me. I so very much wanted to meet expectations, to “measure up.” Yet being inconsistent undermined and often eroded away the road that could take me to that goal.
Being inconsistent has led to a lifetime of not meeting expectations of my own, much less the expectations of others. Whether the expectations of others were real or only perceived would be another great question of the day! Suffice it to say I have not been consistent in prayer, in fervor for attending church, in housework, in quiet patience with my husband, in Bible reading…the list could go on and on. That is why one of my favorite and dearest attributes of God’s love for me—and He is the same with each of us — is His patience and being longsuffering. To me, longsuffering is the combined properties of His great love added to His great patience. Yes it is patience– it is His loving patience. It is God’s selfless love seeing the potential in this weak human and waiting for it to bloom. Thankfully there has been some maturing through the ages, some improvement, and He certainly blessed me when He gave me the breakthrough of being daily in the Word. It has been two years now of very few days missed spending time reading/listening to scripture. What a blessing that consistency is!
I believe it grieves His heart so that He hurts when we do not live in all He has provided for us. After all, look at what it cost Him and His only Son to provide abundant life for us. They went through the agonies of the cross together, yet separated. God the Father cannot look upon sin. Yet to purchase our forgiveness, Jesus, who knew no sin, had to take upon Himself the sins of the entire world. So in the most agony-filled moment of Jesus’ life, God the Father had to turn away from and not help, not support, not show love to His only and dearly loved Son. What agony for both!
This was a horrific, painful separation of Father and Son. Yet they both were determined to love each other and us through the pain because they knew the death of Jesus on the cross was the only way to redemption from ALL sin, for all who would accept that wonderful gift of salvation. All this was done so that we might thrive in Him. All this was endured so we might know the joy and the fullness of the Holy Spirit operating in our life, of faith, hope, peace, joy, health, gentleness, strength…. that list too goes on and on. His selfless love forgives and draws us, forgives and challenges us, forgives and stands by us. He loves. He LOVES us. Oh what boundless love He has for us! I am grateful, thankful, and loving Him all the more for His patience and being longsuffering with me.
Thank You, my Father, my Lord, my Savior, my Comforter, my Guide, my Deliverer, my Healer, my Wisdom….my all in all. HOW GREAT THOU ART!