I’m overwhelmed by God’s patient love for countless reasons, but there’s one time that stands out in my mind and flattens me.
Years ago, I had a want. It wasn’t a bad want. In fact, I would say it was a good want.
But it was not something God wanted for me. At least not at that time. And I didn’t take His ‘no’ or ‘wait” very well. The longer it went on the worse I got.
Most people didn’t know, but inside my attitude was one of an indulged, spoiled, and entitled child.
You know the First Commandment. The one that says,
Have no other gods.
Yeah, that one.
As I look back, this want took over my heart.
This churchgoing good girl follower of Jesus had another god, and eventually, she took charge to get what she wanted.
I remember shortly after getting it, I had a dream where I was handed that big want and clearly heard Jesus ask, “Do you love me more than these?”
His patient love calling me back to the truth.
I remember saying, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love you.”
And I did, but this other god had a tight grip on my heart and my mind. One of the problems with other gods is we don’t realize the place we’ve given them.
God knew. He knew everything about me and patiently waited, but I didn’t get it. Finally, out of love, He allowed a crisis—a wake-up call.
I was so ashamed.
How could I have allowed another god? How could I have given in to temptation? I had listened to the lie first heard in the Garden and I gave in . . . God’s holding out on you. You need to take care of yourself.
I was so sorry. I was flattened.
And God was gracious and merciful, compassionate and faithful with me.
The LORD is gracious and merciful; Slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. Psalm 145:8
But you, O Lord, are a God of compassion and mercy, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15
God is love. God is patient!
God is patient with me. And He is patient with you.
Not because of who I am.
Not because of who you are.
But because of who He is.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
He does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For His unfailing love toward those who fear Him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to His children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear Him.
The promise of God’s love … His undeserved patient love and forgiveness flattens me.
I see myself…
In Eve as she takes a bite of forbidden fruit. In the grumblers wandering the desert. In the prodigal son and many others.
And I see the Father…
Making a plan and following through in Jesus. Leading His children to the Promised Land. Watching and waiting to embrace the returning repentant sinner.
God didn’t just forgive and restore me . . . He brought me to a new place. One of trust, of knowing His plans and purposes are perfect. A place of hope and promise.
The enemy still tries to remind me of my sin and shame me, but when he does my Father holds me close and says, “You are forgiven and loved.”
God allowed me to hear His voice again through one more dream several years later. I don’t remember the details, but I remember His message to “Feed my sheep.”
So, I tell my story.
A story of failure forgiven by a patient loving God.
You Can Know the Hope and Promise of God’s Love
Have you been flattened by the promise of God’s love?
I love the assurance of the following quote…
Elizabeth Elliot and her husband, Jim, were missionaries trying to reach a tribe of people who had never heard the message of God’s love. Jim died a very young man while serving the Lord and His people. Elizabeth lost the future as she imagined it but she never lost her hope in the promise of God’s love.
This is one of my favorite quotes…
“If my life is surrendered to God, all is well. Let me not grab it back, as though it were in peril in His hand but would be safer in mine!” ~Elizabeth Elliot
May you know the blessing of His patient love and trust that whatever is going on around you … you are safe in His hands.
Thank you so much for joining me today.
And a thank you to BibleGateway.com for sources.
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