1 But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. - Isaiah 43:1-2
The final attribute we see about God in this verse is that He is patient with us. God promises to be with us through every trial, but it’s important to note that many of our challenges are brought on by ourselves. Not all of them, but many of them. If we’re being completely honest with ourselves, we can trace many of our struggles back to our own foolish or selfish choices. God allows us to endure the consequences for our choices. He’s not going to rescue us from something that will bring about our redemption, but He does promise to be with us. He allows the waters to rise and the fire to burn as any loving Father does who’s after a change in their child’s behavior. Any good parent will allow their own children to suffer consequences of their actions in order to bring about a change in behavior. When a toddler slaps their sibling, they will sit in a timeout. When a teenager doesn’t come home by curfew, they are grounded the following weekend. These consequences are carried out to change the child’s behavior. Parents understand it takes time and patience to see a real change in their child. One timeout or grounding does not result in a change of behavior, instead the parent is patient through multiple timeout or groundings.
No matter what we face, God will be with us. He doesn’t specify He will only be with us through the trials we don’t deserve, He promises He will be with us through them all - even the trials we bring on ourselves. He won’t leave us just because we got ourselves into the mess. He is patient with us as we find ourselves right back in the same mess of consequences we have already endured.
He is patient with us because we e are a forgiven people. We can continue to land ourselves in the water or the fire, and He will continue to meet us there and show us the way out. There isn’t a sin that we could commit where He would decide to leave us there. We are forgiven - immediately, unilaterally, and totally. There are no exceptions to the rule. We are already forgiven for whatever landed us in the water, and He’s already there waiting to show us the way out.
Because we are a forgiven people, we should live out our lives with an attitude of praise. Our God is a patient God who loves us, despite our selfishness and our foolishness. Our hearts should be forever praising Him for promising to be with us through the storms of life, regardless of the reason we’re there.
I am exhausted today. It’s Wednesday, and I’ve looked forward to going to small group all week - just as I did last week. But just as last week, I find myself weak and exhausted and unable to attend once again. I’ve been told multiple times that I need to rest through this stage of treatment or it will be more challenging to endure treatment, but I have failed to listen. For two weeks in a row, I pushed myself to accomplish far more than I should have, and for two weeks in a row, I’m paying for it. It’s extremely frustrating that For two weeks in a row, I prioritized my own list of accomplishments over the rest I needed, robbing me for a second week of the refreshment He offers me in small group. However, I am thankful that I love a God who is patient with me, and who continues to forgive me despite the fact that I should know better.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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