Tag Archives: patience

God’s Waiting

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God Waiting

 — by Julie Ackerman Link
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, . . . but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. —2 Peter 3:9
Bible in a Year:
Ezekiel 40-41; 2 Peter 3

During the Christmas season we wait. We wait in traffic. We wait in checkout lines to purchase gifts. We wait for family to arrive. We wait to gather around a table filled with our favorite foods. We wait to open presents lovingly chosen.

All of this waiting can be a reminder to Christians that Christmas is a celebration of waiting for something much more important than holiday traditions. Like the ancient Israelites, we too are waiting for Jesus. Although He already came as the long-awaited Messiah, He has not yet come as ruler over all the earth. So today we wait for Christ’s second coming.

Christmas reminds us that God also waits . . . He waits for people to see His glory, to admit that they are lost without Him, to say yes to His love, to receive His forgiveness, to turn away from sin. While we wait for His second coming, He waits for repentance. What seems to us like God’s slowness in coming is instead His patience in waiting (2 Peter 3:9).

The Lord is waiting to have a relationship with those He loves. He made the first move when He came as baby Jesus and the sacrificial Lamb. Now He waits for us to welcome Him into our lives as Savior and Lord.

God patiently keeps His promises.
From: Our Daily Bread

Great Mercy With God

 

 

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From: Our Daily Journey

extravagant mercy

Luke 15:11-32
Filled with love and compassion, [the father] ran to his son (Luke 15:20).

Read the story again. Pay attention to the second son. Watch for the way the father pursued this son as well (“His father came out and begged him” Luke 15:28). What does this say about God’s kindness?

How have you been a prodigal to our merciful God? Do you realize that the Father eagerly watches for your return?

When we wrong someone, it’s normal for us to feel distance and shame. We might imagine that the offended person is stewing over our poor behavior, replaying our thoughtless conduct, or writing us off. We may even think there will be a complete disinterest in us until we return and effusively atone for our actions.

If we imagine God to be like this, however, we’re severely mistaken.

Luke recounts the story of a prodigal son who shockingly asked his father for his portion of the inheritance. He made this brazen request while his father was still alive and presumably in good health. For me, the more shocking moment, however, is the father’s response. The father “agreed to divide his wealth between his sons” (Luke 15:12).

Whatever reason the father had for relenting to this unwise request, he allowed the son to follow this difficult path. In his heart, the son had already abandoned home; and so, sometimes one has to fully leave to truly return. The father loved his son, and he let his son leave.

The son ran to the far country and wasted all that his father had given him (Luke 15:13). A famine came, and the son was destitute. He determined to make his way back to his father with a contrite, groveling speech prepared (Luke 15:18). But the father was waiting for the son! (Luke 15:20). At first glimpse of his boy coming home, the father sprinted toward him, gathered him in his arms, and lavished him with forgiveness.

In Jesus’ culture, the father’s actions would be seen as foolish or soft. But this good father (like our heavenly Father) had no ego to protect. The Father’s mercy is extravagant and free.

 

wrestling with God

Genesis 32:13-32

A man came and wrestled with [Jacob] until the dawn began to break (Genesis 32:24).

Read Lamentations 3:1-23for a look at one prophet’s struggle with God. Look upActs 22:6-11 and compare that story with Jacob’s experience.

What happens when we try to out-maneuver God in our lives? What things are typically at the center of our struggles with God?

Often, on Saturdays in the 1980s, my brother and I watched professional wrestling on TV. We were mesmerized by the acrobatics and the seemingly super-human body slams that shook the wrestling ring. We rooted for the good guys and pointed at the screen exclaiming things like “Did you see that?” and “Ooooh, that had to hurt!” Fortunately, we did not try (many of) those moves at home.

The Bible records one incredible wrestling match between Jacob and an opponent—God in the form of a man. Obscured by the veil of night, He approached and “wrestled with [Jacob] until the dawn began to break” (Genesis 32:24). Apparently Jacob was one scrappy guy, because he hung in there until his Opponent dislocated Jacob’s hip with just a touch (Genesis 32:25). Despite Jacob’s efforts to out-maneuver God, God was still in control.

Even with a disabled hip, Jacob refused to loosen his grip unless he received a blessing. God renamed Him “Israel” (which means “God fights”), blessed him, and then went on His way. Left alone, Jacob realized, “I have seen God face to face, yet my life has been spared” (Genesis 32:30). Jacob met the day injured, sleep-deprived, but astonished by his encounter with his Maker.

Are you struggling with God today? Maybe His Word has revealed His will for your life in a certain area, but you’re not ready to surrender. You know He wants you to give up an addiction, regain your integrity at work, or abandon a relationship that’s not honoring to Him.

Don’t wrestle through the night as Jacob did. Acknowledge God’s perfect, loving ways and surrender to Him. Let His comfort renew your hope (Psalm 94:19). Cling to Him and stand amazed as you encounter the living God.

From: Our Daily Journey

Temper Control

 

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Temper control

Once upon a time there was a little boy who was talented, creative, handsome, and extremely bright. A natural leader. The kind of person everyone would normally have wanted on their team or project. But he was also self-centered and had a very bad temper. When he got angry, he usually said, and often did, some very hurtful things. In fact, he seemed to have little regard for those around him. Even friends. So, naturally, he had few. “But,” he told himself, “that just shows how stupid most people are!”

As he grew, his parents became concerned about this personality flaw, and pondered long and hard about what they should do. Finally, the father had an idea. And he struck a bargain with his son. He gave him a bag of nails, and a BIG hammer. “Whenever you lose your temper,” he told the boy, “I want you to really let it out. Just take a nail and drive it into the oak boards of that old fence out back. Hit that nail as hard as you can!”

Of course, those weathered oak boards in that old fence were almost as tough as iron, and the hammer was mighty heavy, so it wasn’t nearly as easy as it first sounded. Nevertheless, by the end of the first day, the boy had driven 37 nails into the fence (That was one angry young man!). Gradually, over a period of weeks, the number dwindled down. Holding his temper proved to be easier than driving nails into the fence! Finally the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. He felt mighty proud as he told his parents about that accomplishment.

“As a sign of your success,” his father responded, “you get to PULL OUT one nail. In fact, you can do that each day that you don’t lose your temper even once.”

Well, many weeks passed. Finally one day the young boy was able to report proudly that all the nails were gone.

At that point, the father asked his son to walk out back with him and take one more good look at the fence. “You have done well, my son,” he said. “But I want you to notice the holes that are left. No matter what happens from now on, this fence will never be the same. Saying or doing hurtful things in anger produces the same kind of result. There will always be a scar. It won’t matter how many times you say you’re sorry, or how many years pass, the scar will still be there. And a verbal wound is as bad as a physical one. People are much more valuable than an old fence. They make us smile. They help us succeed. Some will even become friends who share our joys, and support us through bad times. And, if they trust us, they will also open their hearts to us. That means we need to treat everyone with love and respect. We need to prevent as many of those scars as we can.”

A most valuable lesson, don’t you think? And a reminder most of us need from time to time. Everyone gets angry occasionally. The real test is what we DO with it.

If we are wise, we will spend our time building bridges rather than barriers in our relationships.

Author Unknown

From: academictips.org.

The Cookie Thief

 

A woman was waiting at an airport one night, with several long hours before her flight. She hunted for a book in the airport shops, bought a bag of cookies and found a place to drop.

She was engrossed in her book but happened to see, that the man sitting beside her, as bold as could be. . .grabbed a cookie or two from the bag in between, which she tried to ignore to avoid a scene.

So she munched the cookies and watched the clock, as the gutsy cookie thief diminished her stock. She was getting more irritated as the minutes ticked by, thinking, “If I wasn’t so nice, I would blacken his eye.”

With each cookie she took, he took one too, when only one was left, she wondered what he would do. With a smile on his face, and a nervous laugh, he took the last cookie and broke it in half.

He offered her half, as he ate the other, she snatched it from him and thought… oooh, brother. This guy has some nerve and he’s also rude, why he didn’t even show any gratitude!

She had never known when she had been so galled, and sighed with relief when her flight was called. She gathered her belongings and headed to the gate, refusing to look back at the thieving ingrate.

She boarded the plane, and sank in her seat, then she sought her book, which was almost complete. As she reached in her baggage, she gasped with surprise, there was her bag of cookies, in front of her eyes.

If mine are here, she moaned in despair, the others were his, and he tried to share. Too late to apologize, she realized with grief, that she was the rude one, the ingrate, the thief.

By Valerie Cox in “A Matter of Perspective”
Submitted by Tom “The Colonel” Parker

 From: academictips.org.

A Slower Pace

 

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A Slower Pace

 — by Marvin Williams
Our Daily Bread Radio is hosted by Les Lamborn
Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work. —Exodus 20:9-10
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When writer Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with bone cancer in his thigh, he couldn’t walk without some help for over a year. Learning to get around on crutches caused him to appreciate a slower pace of life. Feiler said, “The idea of slowing down became the number one lesson I learned from my experience.”

After God’s people were liberated from Egypt, He gave them a commandment that would cause them to slow down and view Him and the world “in pause.” The fourth commandment introduced a dramatic contrast to the Israelites’ slavery under Pharaoh when they had no break in their daily work routine.

The commandment insisted that God’s people set aside one day a week to remember several important things: God’s work in creation (Gen. 2:2), their liberation from Egyptian bondage (Deut. 5:12-15), their relationship with God (6:4-6), and their need for personal refreshment (Exod. 31:12-18). This was not to be a day of laziness, but one where God’s people acknowledged, worshiped, and rested in Him.

We too are called to slow down, to be refreshed physically, mentally, and emotionally, and to behold God in His good creation.

Lord, I need spiritual and physical rest. Help me
to deliberately take the time to spend with You.
Please remove any obstacle that keeps me from
having a more balanced rhythm to my life.
Living for God begins with resting in Him.

From: Our Daily Bread.

Rejoicing

 

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Retreat! Time to Reflect, Rejuvenate and Rejoice!
(c)1999 – Julie Jordan Scott

“Every year, I pack up a duffel bag and head to the mountains near Yosemite. A weekend each year spent in the company of 90 or so women. Journeying from places mostly from throughout California. As we step from our vehicles upon arrival, we breathe in the pine smell of the crisp clean air and breathe out the stresses and concerns of our lives in the Valley below.

I have been making this pilgrimage for the past six years. Each time I return home refreshed and ready for whatever real life may have in store for me.

Embracing fully the concept of retreat, I have decided to schedule a monthly, day long personal retreat. I have set aside on my calendar throughout the year the last Friday of the month for this purpose. On my retreat day, I will intentionally create an experience that is unlike any of my other days throughout the month. Set apart. Special. Solitary.

Come along with me, lets try this together! I have uncovered a retreat formula that may work for you as well.

Reflect
The day begins with a day of reflection. Raise a figurative mirror to yourself, take your personal pulse. There are several ways to approach this. A few suggestions are as follows:

* Make a list of victories from the current month. Reflect: How did you achieve these victories? What action steps did it require? How did it feel to complete these victories? Would you describe your achievement fun? work? performing? striving? playing?

*Make a list of unfinished goals. Reflect: Why did you miss the mark this month? Is this goal truly according to my life purpose? Is this a task I can delegate or barter out? Should I re-add this to my list, or should I take it off?

*Make a list of goals/tasks for the new month. Reflect: Which projects should “bridge up”, fitting into my 30-60-90 day, 6 month, yearly plan? Are there any other areas that need to be thought out or planned? Which tasks are the highest priority and how can you ensure you will get there.

Then, set aside your carefully crafted plan! Its time to move!

REJUVENATE
Now it is time to put aside your “thinking hat” and work with your subconscious or intuitive mind.

Time to get busy! Do you like to exercise? Create Art? Look at Art? Listen to music? How about a long drive? Believe it or not, I have been known the cruise the Mall during my rejuvenation time.

Take along a pad and pencil or pen and relish whichever activity you choose. The pad and pencil is to take notes about whatever comes up, whatever floats in your mind in regards to the earlier Reflection exercise.

Don’t force anything to come! Just play! Enjoy! Be! You have this agenda, yes, but in actuality, you are not wedded to DOING anything! The point is to be intentionally free with yourself.

After you feel you have had enough time creating, driving, walking, exercising, mall cruising take time and sit down. Take out your list from your Reflection time and revise as necessary. This may be the time to have something to eat. Some refreshment. You may choose to completely envelope yourself in the process of eating.

Next, I find it helpful and invigorating at this point to do some reading. Not the newspaper, not a magazine, but something inspiring. Something that addresses the areas I am currently addressing on my Monthly plan.

After a half an hour or so, go back to your list. Has your quiet mind told you now to make any changes? Make note of them, add to the list, subtract from the list, brainstorm if necessary for your barter list.

REJOICE
Depending upon how long each component has lasted for you, you may have time to reflect some more. Spend more time in creation. Make sure to leave the time frame as loose as possible while still somewhat structured. The three main themes are very important. As you move to the end of your Retreat day, spend some time rejoicing. Applaud yourself for your efforts. Note all that you have accomplished this day.

Re enter the world slowly. Be gentle with yourself as you continue to refine YOUR Retreat process. I hope you will take time to really thoughtfully consider making this a regular part of your Purposeful life.”

By: Julie Jordan Scott