This week, my wife is out of town in Pennsylvania. She is enjoying some time with her Beachbody team. This incredible team of women encourages my wife to stay physically and spiritually fit. I am so glad that she gets some time away with her friends.
But since she is away, I am at home with our three oldest children. Thankfully, she took our youngest child, Derrick (just 6 months old), with her, but I get the joyful burden of watching our 9-year-old, 7-year-old, and crazy (truly crazy) 3-year-old. Heather has only been gone for a little over 24 hours, but I am already so grateful for all that she does for our kids!
I mean, it never ceases to amaze me at how much I have to repeat myself with my children. I’m always saying things like, “Now, what do you say?” Or “Aurora, your shoes are on the wrong feet. Switch them, please.” Or “Please stop running in the house!” Or “Don’t forget to give the dog food and water.” Or “Did you brush your teeth?” Or “Stop fighting”. Or “Stop whining.” Or “Stop talking back!” You get the idea, especially if you’re a parent. Wow. My kids (perhaps your kids too) hear these constant refrains.
I must admit that I often get easily irritated with my kids. I think, “Why don’t they listen? Are they deaf? I’ve told them these things a hundred billion times!” But as I was reminding my 3-year-old of something that I’ve told her a million times, it dawned on me…I’m not a very patient father, but God (my Father) is always patient with me.
I thought to myself, “How many times has God had to remind me of the simplest truths or commands? And yet, I am slow of mind and hard of heart to listen and remember…” God the Father often reminds me to trust Him, to love others, and to serve with pure motives, and yet I easily forget or (worse yet) I ignore Him and choose to sin. And still God is ever so patient with me, loving me, and blessing me despite all that I am (a hard-hearted sinner) and all that I am not (a fully sanctified saint).
So, today I am thankful for the patience of God. He lovingly reminds me (over and over and over again…a hundred billion times) that He is with me and for me. He doesn’t ever lash out in anger and is always ready to help me and forgive me. Indeed, the patience of God should be one of the primary motivators of my patience toward my own kids and the other people in my life. Yes, our God is a patient God, and I am in awe of His constant, never ceasing patience!
Hear now the words of Scripture in regard to the patience of our great God…
“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” – Psalm 103:8
“But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.” – 1 Timothy 1:16
“You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” – James 5:8