In His Image: Faithful and Patient

I will always remember that car ride. We were a couple years into dealing with infertility and I was travelling to and from the clinic multiple times a week. On this particular day, I was heading home from work a little early to await the dreaded call. I had faced this call about five times before – the call letting me know whether or not the latest round of fertility treatments resulted in a positive pregnancy test. And I was not ready to face another conversation that started with “I’m so sorry but…”

I remember all of those emotions well, but what stands out most prominently in my memory of that day is the song that came over the radio right at that moment. The song was I Lift My Hands, by Chris Tomlin. The lyrics of the chorus go like this:

“I lift my hands to believe again. You are my refuge, you are my strength. As I pour out my heart these things I remember, You are faithful God forever.”

Faithful. God is faithful. I desperately needed to be reminded of that. To remember that He is faithful and then to live like it was true. In that moment a scripture verse that I had memorized came immediately to mind. That verse was 2 Timothy 2:11-13 and it says, “This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.”

God is faithful and he cannot be unfaithful. He is loyal and cannot be disloyal. He faithfully walks us through any trial (Heb 13:5), He is faithful in showing us how to escape from temptation (1 Cor 10:13), He is faithful to forgive us, no matter how many times we blow it (1 John 1:9), and He will faithfully return for us and take us to His home in heaven (Heb 10:23). We can trust Him implicitly.

In those years of infertility, it was God’s faithfulness to walk beside me, to carefully tend to my hurting heart, that I needed the most. Now that I have three daughters and spend each day in the trenches of parenting them, I often cry out for His faithfulness to forgive and rescue me from my own shortcomings.. As much as I possibly can be, I am faithful in raising my children, but my best efforts are tarnished by one thing in particular: impatience.

How often in life are our best days ruined because of our own impatience? It happens all the time. I go from laughing with my kids to snapping at them when they aren’t quick enough to obey. I pray each morning that God would show me how to love on my neighbors and then get irritated an hour later when a parent – a member of the community I want to love – doesn’t navigate through the carline at school to my satisfaction.

Impatience quickly leads to anger, and it is my biggest shortcoming. It is one way that I am constantly aware of falling short, the area where my headspace and heartspace are often not aligned with God’s.

Thank goodness God is not like me! He is slow to anger (Ex 34:6) while my anger seems to kindle in a flash. The book of Proverbs teaches us that the one who is slow to anger is wise, but those who give into their temper are fools (Prov 14:29, Prov 15:18, Prov 16:32, Prov 19:11). I do not desire to be a fool, but sometimes controlling my own impatience is hard.

When God created the world and set His beautiful plan of redemption in motion, He never thought “This is too hard,” or “This is taking too long.” No, He was and is perfectly patient with us (2 Pet 3:9). And if we can learn to be patient, He will work His righteousness in us (James 1:1920).

So the next time impatience tempts you to get angry, will you ask your faithful God to help you? And remember, when you blow it today, He will still be faithful to help you tomorrow (Lam 3:22-23).

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Abundantly More – Knowing God and Making God Known.

“The LORD passed in front of Moses, calling out, “Yahweh! The LORD! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness..” – Exodus 34:6 NLT

“This is a trustworthy saying: If we die with him, we will also live with him. If we endure hardship, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. 13If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” – 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NLT

This series is inspired by Jen Wilkin. For a more detailed look at God’s faithfulness and patience, read chapters 7 and 8 from In His Image.

Click here to journal along with us using our Abundantly More format.

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