Spiritual Director · August 22, 2017

Devote #87

Have you ever wondered at how patient God must really be with us?

I mean, He’s patience is really mind boggling if you think about it. You and I would never put up with 1/10 of what He has to deal with and the truth is: He’s dealing with us!

I thought of that as I was reading Psalm 78 today. The writer of the Psalm is giving a recap of the history of the people of Israel, telling time and time again of how God provided all that the people needed, but how quickly “they forgot all He had done.” —Psalm 78:11

The writer recalled events like parting the Red Sea and allowing all of them to cross over on dry ground,

“how God guided them during the day with a cloud and each night He led them with a flaming fire.” —Psalm 78:14

Then when they complained they were thirsty, He made water come out of a rock. Can you even imagine that? Watering coming for a rock?

But it doesn’t stop there.

“They stubbornly tested God and demanded from Him what they wanted to eat.” —Psalm 78:18

Can you imagine griping to God that you don’t like the food He’s providing and that you want something else? Sure you can, because both you and I have done it before in some like fashion.

But what does God do: “He opened up the doors in the skies” —Psalm 78:23 and each and every day supplied the people with Manna.

Then, when they didn’t like the Manna anymore, they moaned about wanting meat to eat. So God covered the ground with fresh quail. The Bible says,

“God gave His people all they wanted, and each of them ate until they were full.” —Psalm 78:29

I don’t know what would make a better topic for us: God’s patience with us and His overwhelming grace, love, forgiveness and providence OR our lack of appreciation for all that God has done for us?

For today, we’ll stick to God’s abundance, not our lack of love.

Like I said in the beginning, God’s patience, His perseverance, His persistence, His tenacity, His self-control, His endurance with us is beyond comprehension. The Bible tells us that even though the people of Israel were “unfaithful and broke their promises,”

“Yet God was kind. He kept forgiving their sins…” —Psalm 78:38

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today

I don’t know what you’re facing today, or this week. I don’t know what you have to deal with, figure out, decide on, that’s keeping you up at night, totally on edge, frustrated and confused. But, what I do know is, we have a God that is calmly waiting for us to turn to Him and waiting on our every need.

Instead of giving one more complaint today, offer Him your praise for never giving up on you.

Thank You for Your amazing grace and Your patience with me. Forgive me for always demanding one more thing. Jesus, in Your name I pray, Amen.

—Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen

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Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.