I was in my room one morning thinking about the goodness of God. I began to play some instrumental worship music and pray, thanking the Lord for all He has done. The Lord eventually led me to this scripture:
This really encouraged me because it is indeed a trustworthy statement deserving complete and full acceptance that Jesus Christ came into the world to save a girl like me! I had to take a step back for a minute- being born and raised in the church had me forgetting about His grace!
I remember my very first best friend, my neighbor Julia and the way she was brought up. It was completely different from my own upbringing. Her parents were Italian and her only reference to God was through a Catholic church- a church she rarely ever attended. Whenever summer rolled around, I would invite her and her brothers to Vacation Bible School (VBS) with us. We had a blast and learned so much all at the same time! I quickly realized as a little girl, I was actually introducing her and her siblings to Jesus.
As a result of my upbringing, I guess He’s always been real to me. At 5 or 6 years old, I remember having full conversations with the Lord. And you best believe, I had complete confidence that He was hearing me- and never bored of me! This realization that Jesus, though invisible, is a very real being- He sees, hears, knows and responds to His children, hit me at a young age. Though this was the case, I continue to live out this truth- this revelation even today, in my own life.
“Why was I born into a family like this Lord? Why wasn’t I born into a Catholic family or a Muslim family? How come I get to know the truth right off the bat?”
I use to ask God these questions. These were the questions I wrestled with for years. They were questions that spoke to my privilege! I was privileged to know what it means to cultivate a personal relationship with the Lord from my youth. And I’ve learned that it is a pursuit- a pursuit that is ongoing! It never stops. Just as God is in pursuit of us for our attention and for our affection; in response, we are in pursuit of Him for His love and for His affirmation. It’s a crazy love story that is being unfolded all of the days of our lives!
So when I read 1 Timothy 1:15-16, it brings tears to my eyes because I remember those days- those years that I didn’t have it altogether, though I had a personal relationship with the Lord. I remember those seasons in my life that were filled with bad choices, negative decisions, confusion, hatred, unforgiveness, disobedience…and the list (believe you me) could keep going. Yes, I remember those days, when my heart wasn’t for God, it was against God. Yet still…He waited. And continued to pursue me.
It’s His waiting that fascinates me! God waits for us. And His waiting isn’t just static, His waiting is active- He actively pursues us as He waits.Tweet
The bible tells us that we are all born into sin (Psalm 51:5). We didn’t come out knowing and doing right from wrong. It didn’t matter how young I was when I was first introduced to the Lord. I too, was born into sin. Our flesh from the time we are conceived continues to seek it’s own will and our will is in opposition to the Spirit of God. The book of Galations reminds us that the flesh and the Spirit are constantly in opposition to each other (Galations 5:7) and we need to make decisive choices to not just live in the Spirit but to walk by the Spirit (Galations 5:25). Our actions must match our belief.
After all, God’s actions matched His belief!
The bible tells us in 1 John 4 that God is love and He demonstrated His love for you and I by sending His Son to die for all of our wrongs. God’s love doesn’t just pursue us, but it waits for us to recognize His love for us. And for some of us, this takes years, decades, and seasons of our lives to grow in this revelation.
If God can be patient with me, if God can be patient with you; then how much more so will He be patient with our loved ones, our friends and whomever you are believing God for? I know that sounds difficult at times, but here’s the good news- when we walk by the Spirit, we then produce the fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, PATIENCE, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galations 5:22). When we walk according to God’s word and his leading day by day, we produce things like patience- patience to wait for our loved ones, just as God waited for us.
God grant us the patience to wait- just like you waited for us and continue to wait for us.
1 Timothy 1:15-16 reminds us that God uses our lives as an example of His immense patience for those who would believe in Him.
Have you fully and completely accepted God’s patience for your life?