The Lord waits to be gracious to you.
Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me.
We have learned a little bit about waiting this week. Diane was admitted to the hospital with pains, and other symptoms that could not be easily diagnosed. Because she went in on Saturday night, we waited until late Monday to have even an initial non-diagnosis – even though they had run tests throughout weekend. We waited four days for a diagnosis. We waited for doctors’ orders to come through. We waited for doctors’ orders to be carried out. We waited for the next day. Finally we got a diagnosis and now we are waiting for her to be released!
I’m not certain we have been all that patient during this ordeal, but the picture of Jesus knocking at the door of our hearts reveals a remarkably patient waiting on God’s part. Isaiah also reveals a patience, but with an added nuance of grace.
Sometimes we think of God seething with anger and barely constraining himself from reeking revenge and utterly quashing evil of every kind. Sometimes we may even wish for that as well. It would be so good, we think, if God would just take out our enemies and make the world run as it should. God doesn’t desire that kind of obedience. He is yearning for obedience from the hearts of women and men. Such obedience is not forced, it is wooed. So God waits patiently and graciously. He will come to any who will receive him. His Holy Spirit is working in our hearts to bring us to him, and to open ourselves to his presence.
Our lack of patience has much to do about controlling our world and circumstances in ways that are beneficial to us. God’s patience has to do with his desire for our true gladness and eternal joy. What a blessing awaits those who embrace the gracious patience of God. Jesus delights to abide with such people.