Patience of God

I had my grandsons this last week for five days.  I love them.  They are amazing!  Andros is 4 and Kalan is 2, and they are sincerely so smart and funny!  But they WORE. ME. OUT.  Especially Kalan!  I didn’t realize just how much they are always on the go until I watched Kalan run in circles around the island of our kitchen for almost 23 minutes.  And I’m not exaggerating; it was hysterical!  He would take a turn around, go past our dog, Ruger, say ‘Scuse me’ and keep going around and around.

I don’t know where he has the energy.  However, the one thing I noticed because he’s non-stop is that my patience would start to wear thin.  He wasn’t doing anything wrong, but when a child that’s so focused wasn’t paying attention to what I was saying, I would start to get irritated trying to rein him in.

Thank goodness for a God who is patient with us!  Over and over in the bible, it says that He is slow to anger, gracious, and loving.  And that’s even after we run around and do what we want to do without paying attention to His words and commands!

Then the Lord passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth;” –Exodus 34:6

“But You, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindess and truth.” –Psalm 86:15

“’And rend your heart and not your garments.’”  Now return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindess and relenting of evil.” –Joel 2:13

“who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” –1 Peter 3:20

Even when the Lord was waiting for repentance from the people in the days of Noah, or when the Israelites were complaining in the wilderness, and when Jonah ran and hid (unsuccessfully), He had patience and gave time for them to repent and to turn back to Him!  He did not just immediately get mad and cut them off.  He gave us opportunity to walk our way back to Him and His ways.

I thank God for the patience that He has for us!  I’m thankful that He’s not like us where we can fall so quickly to irritation and getting upset.  I pray that this week we can see the patience of God in His love for us and model that towards those around us.

~Erin

Sweet Kalan who loves to run me ragged!

Peeling Wallpaper

The wallpaper in the master bathroom of my house was probably pretty popular in the 1990s.  In 2020, it’s just too much.  I have had visions of tearing it down and refurbishing the bathroom, but after three years of owning the house, I haven’t done a single thing.

Until I noticed a tiny little corner lifting up above the shower.  It was like I had zero control over my hand, as I peeled that corner up and away from the wall.  Now there are whole swaths of wallpaper being torn away in various places in the bathroom.  Peeling corners, sections of 90’s wallpaper being torn, and sections of plaster and paint peeking through.

It looks like there’s an affliction that has overtaken the bathroom walls.

Just like my own life.  Affliction and unattractive blemishes all over the walls of my life.

On occasion, I question if I’m worthy of God’s affection in the midst of my afflictions.  I know that I’m not the only one who has questioned my worthiness and God’s attention.  You may have questioned your own worthiness as well.  The Israelites probably questioned it when they assumed that God didn’t care about them either.  In Exodus 3:16 God said, I am concerned about you as a reassurance to the Israelites.

Just like He was concerned about the Israelites, He’s concerned about me and He’s concerned about you too.  Throughout scripture, we see affliction in Leah, Rachel, Hannah, David and countless others.  Yet we also see that God worked for each of them through their pain.

As you go through the week, possibly complaining like the Israelites, remember that God sees you.  He sees your afflictions, like peeling wallpaper, and He’s working on your behalf!

~Emily

“Go and gather the elders of Israel together, and say to them, ‘The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, appeared to me, saying, “I have surely visited you and seen what is done to you in Egypt.” ~Exodus 3:16 (NKJV)

Peeling Wallpaper copy

 

 

The Little Extra

We’ll just take a little extra….just in case.  Never mind the fact that He provides exactly what we need, right?!

This has been weighing heavily on my mind all week.  I’m using a bible reading plan that gets me through the whole bible in a year (let’s be honest–it’ll be more like a year and half or even two for me, but I digress).  Anyway, I’m currently reading through Exodus.  The Israelites are feeling as if they’re going to starve in the wildernes and wonder whether being hungry in the wilderness is a better choice than being a slave in Egypt.  God says to them that He hears their grumbling and will provide meat in the evening and bread (manna) in the morning.  He was pretty specific in instruction for gathering the manna, too.  He said to gather a portion for each family member ONLY for the day, except on Friday.  On Friday, gather two portions as Saturday was the sabbath, and the Israelites weren’t permitted to work on that day.  Anyone trying to save some for the next day’s meal would would wake up to find it foul smelling and filled with worms.  Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?! And despite what they were directed to do by God Himself, a few still chose to try and save some extra or go out on the morning of the sabbath to gather manna only to find some wormy leftovers or the desert ground dry and empty.

I’ve read and heard this story a million times since I grew up in Sunday School and church services.  But I think it’s the first time I really stopped to overlay it’s meaning to my life.  It amazes me how many times the Israelites tried to do it their own way, not relying on God’s direct provision and protection over their deliverance from Egypt.  Like, seriously, you dummies…did you forget the parting of the Red Sea or the flies, boils, and locusts you were spared from?!  And after railing on how ridiculous the Israelites were, I thought about this: How often do I do the same thing?

I’m guilty of taking situations or problems or complaints to Jesus, asking Him to provide in some way or even assuming that He’s going to deliver exactly what I ask for.  And when He answers, or more accurately when I feel He hasn’t answered the way I would like for Him to, I start to handle the issue myself.

I can’t possibly be alone in how I manage this!  We often try to bypass His plan or provision in some way to get extra, to fix it, or to help ourselves because we know exactly how we want it handled.  And a dear friend reminded me this week that this isn’t just a new Christian or a seasoned Christian problem.  This is a human problem.  It’s difficult for a new Christian to let go of the idea that we’re not really in control of our lives.  For the Christian that has been walking with Christ for a while, we forget that we can take and trust everything to Jesus, not just the heart-hurting issues.  How much better off would we be if we trusted in His mercy and believed that He has our best interest in His hands and will take care of it as He sees fit?

Jesus reminds us of exactly that in Matthew 6.  He tell us in verses 31-33, Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or what ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

This, then, is our charge–to rise up against the worldly view that we must take care of ourselves without the trust of having an amazing God in our corner.  His provision for us is unending.  His love for us is good and beautiful.  Lay down your burdens at the cross of Jesus and let Him supply your needs and desires as He will.  Let’s trust HIM for the extra instead!

~Erin

How about you?  Do you struggle with this like I do?  Comment below with a verse that helps remind you that God’s provision is best!