“Then he passed in front of Moses and called out, I am the LORD God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted. ” Exodus 34:6 (CEV)
Before the sun rose my lips frowned as I refereed a tug-of-war match over the last Strawberry pop tart in my kitchen. Even though an entire box of unopened brown sugar cinnamon pop-tarts sat on the top shelf of the pantry, my adorable children transformed before my eyes into starving lunatics. Their tiny fists squeezed their handful of the treasured pastry until it dissolved into crumbs all over the floor. As I separated the tiny gladiators and wrestled them into the mini- van, I didn’t even care that their faces were smeared with red jelly. But I did regret losing my temper. If only I had more patience. So I bowed my head in defeat, squeezed my eyes tight, and prayed, Dear God give me patience for today!
As I’m driving to school, I frantically search for an upbeat song on the radio. “No one can steal my joy” reminds me how my LORD God has been very patient with me and has shown me great love. I wonder if my heavenly Father has good things stored on a shelf and I am tightly holding onto my own selfish desires. I think about how God’s love for me is pure, powerful, and far greater in depth than even I can fathom for my own children. My eyes water as I consider how much I love my sons. In that same way my heavenly father loves his daughter. He loves me.
I think about how the Lord has given me courage to step forward into my calling. To push my frozen feet through the icy fear. Even when I foolishly placed other relationships before time spent with the Lord, He still gives me wisdom. God knows what is best for me and strengthens me with his power and might to survive life’s hurts. Like when I don’t receive my tasty treasure.
If I listen carefully I hear, “Do not fear my dear.” My heavenly Father has always provided for me. He has placed a fierce passion deep in my heart to protect my children and I know He feels the same for me. My heavenly Father desires to connect emotionally with me. He desires to comfort my hurting heart by drawing me close into his loving embrace. By running to Him he encircles me with a boundary of protection. When my nerves are in a crumpled heap, He extends his mighty hand and lifts me to a standing position.
Only Christ Jesus has the power to quench my life long hunger for love. My heart longs to be filled with Him. His love for me has motivated me to choose Him more often. To place Him first as my most prized relationship. Christ deserves this honor because H has always shown me patience and kindness. He always responds in positive ways even when I openly reject Him by choosing other ways to spend my time.
When I was a teenager, I confessed how I needed someone here on earth to love me. Although the Lord was right there beside me, I desired someone earthly. Someone who could physically hold me tight. I remember how the Lord has been slow to anger during my journey. Although I restlessly pursued love through a demanding prayer life, the Lord loved me enough to separate me from what I was seeking. His “No” was an extension of mercy. Even though I responded in sadness, tears, and my frustration overwhelmed me; my Lord calmed my anxious thoughts.
While I was fighting like a starving lunatic for my treasure, the Lord understood the entire situation. He looked upon my foolish and selfish ways, but did not respond with a shouting temper. Instead my God listened to my doubting prayers. The Lord knew I was young and need time to grow, time to correct my character flaws.
I consider whether the times God seems silent if he is waiting for me to recognize my thoughts as foolishness. Am I fighting for what I think is mine while God has the most delightful treasure stored up on the top shelf? Even now I realize my prayer for patience may be considered selfish to God. Perhaps my Lord would rather a prayer of loving praise. After all, my God is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in loving devotion and truth.
Father, thank you for passing in front of me. For calling out to me and reminding me of who you are. You are the LORD God. You are merciful, and very patient with me. You show great love and I trust you Lord. Thank you for giving me opportunities to develop my patience. In Jesus Name, I pray. Amen.