In preparing to write my post for the day, I’ve spent the last hour fighting with my computer. I sometimes believe the devil resides within this communication icon. It was only an hour before I lost my patience.
Our patience in an impatient world is tested all the time. We’re called upon daily to wait. We may sit in traffic for an hour and miss an important meeting. We might wait in line at the bank or grocery store while others are taken care of first. It could be that you’re waiting for test results or the anticipation of a coming birth. Waiting is an inconvenience. It sometimes causes anxiety or fear. Most often we simply give up.
As I think of my own inability to be patient, I can’t help but wonder at God’s amazing forbearance with us. When He tells us to be still and realize that He’s in control, we often try to take over and do it our way. We want answers immediately and to our liking.
There are hundreds of examples of God’s patience with His people. The story of Noah and the great flood comes to mind. The world was filled with sin of all kind. The people had turned from their creator by choosing false gods and teachings. By the time God called Noah to build an ark, this family of eight were the only people left who believed in Him. God could’ve simply wiped everyone off the face of the earth, but they were given over another hundred years to change their evils ways. Talk about patience.
During that time of grace, the people continued in their sin. They rebuked Noah and his family. He was the Henny Penny of the day. The people had never experienced even a little drizzle up until that time. When the ark was completed and the first raindrops fell, they were still so deeply rooted in their sin that they didn’t get it. Eventually the waters came from above and below and devoured every living thing except for those on Noah’s boat.
Had God finally lost his patience? Imagine how bad things must’ve been for this to happen. Are we getting there again? Is it time to build another ark? Can God forgive us for the mess we’ve recreated? When the storm subsided and the water dried up, Noah and his family set up an altar to the Lord. God made a covenant with them to never destroy the world with a flood.
Still that doesn’t give us free reign to go back to our evil ways. Daily repentance is necessary. We’ve been forgiven. God is merciful, but He wants us to be completely His own. That means studying the Bible and showing the same grace we’ve received to others. It then becomes our responsibility to share the good news of the Gospel with others and to be completely devoted to God.