Archive for November, 2010

The Patience of God

November 6, 2010

Recently at work I was annoyed, repeatedly.  I drove across town on two separate occasions for an important meeting, and each time, one of the people who was supposed to appear failed to show, meaning we would have to reschedule the meeting.  I wasted valuable time driving as well as waiting in the lobby for this person.  A third meeting then needed to be scheduled, and of course I was annoyed and irritated.  Inside I felt inclined to write this person off, and say “I’m done” dealing with him.

It is in these common daily moments that the Lord may be trying to teach us something.  So, while waiting in the lobby I took some time to reflect on this unique kind of suffering.  You may recall that the Latin word for suffering is “patiens”, from which we get the word “patient.”  It is fitting because to be patient is a type of suffering.  While I waited angrily in the lobby, I stopped to consider how often I have turned away from God despite knowing full well what He has asked me to do. The Lord is actively waiting for me to turn away from sin and choose to follow Him.    Does the Lord say about me, “this man that I have created and redeemed by My own Blood, continues to sin repeatedly, deny me and place other things above Me. That’s it! I’m done with him!”

No!  “The Lord is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.” There are so many scriptures to remind us of this.  Some I have mentioned in past posts.  “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end.”

“You shall call him Jesus, for He will save his people from their sins.”

“I have come to call sinners, not the righteous.”

How patient God is with us.  While I was ready to dismiss someone after two failings, God is ready to forgive me again and again, and again, and again and again and again.   It’s interesting – when I left the office that day I left with a feeling of joy.  This was odd, as I had just been reflecting on my own sinfulness.  But in fact, recalling our sins can actually be a way to bring us closer to the Lord.  You remember of course, that a man who is not sick has no need of a doctor.  And a person without sin has no need of a Savior.  If I am not calling to mind my sins, I am then tempted to believe that I am “better than” those people who appear to have more flaws than I do.  I will be tempted to believe that I am acting righteously, when in fact, “my sin is always before me” (Psalm 51).

Reflecting on our sinfulness can be a way to experience God’s love.  And the only reason this can be is because Christ is our hope.  He is the one who brought reconciliation with the Father.  He is always ready to forgive.  If we are enslaved to sin with no hope of forgiveness, then yes, we would be the most hopeless, dejected people of all.  But in truth, we are the most joyful, hopeful people of all, because God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.

Rejoice, repent, rejoice!