Lord, give me patience, and give it to me NOW! —Unknown
I recently mentioned a couple weeks ago that people often build their view of God based on what their earthly fathers are like. Whereas many of us have great, loving dads, some people have a father figure who is constantly mad at his family. Perhaps, he vents stress from other parts of his life onto the nearest and least resistant source. Or maybe he holds the people nearest to him to ridiculously high standards and reacts irrationally when they aren't met. Regardless of the source, angry dads can lead people to think that God the Father is like their father, angry at everybody and everything. That's not only wrong, but contradictory to what the Bible tells us! God revealed Himself to Moses as the Father who is "...slow to anger..." (Exodus 34:6). David sang of the Father with words like these:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love ... As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. —Psalm 103:8, 13-14
God the Father is patient.
I'm learning this one the hard way. I've done some basketball coaching over the years. Back when my son Liam was just a little guy in elementary school, with years of learning ahead of him ... I am embarrassed by how often I expected him to be where I was when I played in college! I would see what he was doing, expect something else, deal with him in "coach" lingo, and see his eyes well up with tears. Oh, how I sometimes wish it was God coaching that team and not me! I was impatient with him, expecting him to be what he will one day be, today.
God knows our weaknesses. He knows how we have been made, and He gives us slack when others might just cut us off. Amazingly, He sees us as we are "in Christ," and knows full well who He is shaping us to become. He recognizes the process of development and growth and is thoroughly patient with us as we trudge along the path. I don't know about you, but I am thoroughly happy we have a Father like that!
Father, Your patience is long, deep, and loving. I don't deserve such an act of caring, so thank You for caring enough to act like that towards me. I pray this patience would be shown in my life as I interact with others so they can see what You've done in me! Amen.
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