Do you ever get impatient with God? Or impatient with yourself before God?
Patience is that element of the fruit of the spirit I seem to be able to extend toward everyone except myself. I can be very rough and unkind with myself, expecting greatness and having no grace for anything less. God is beginning to draw my awareness to these moments and to show me by example how to be gentle with myself.
Recently, an old favorite verse of mine came to my mind:
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. – Revelation 3:20, NIV
God knocks at the door and waits for me to hear God’s voice and to open the door before God will come in. The promise that God will indeed come in is there, but first some element of participation is required of me before the promise can be fulfilled.
I used to pray for God to just come in anyway–to knock down the door, to blast through the wall, to break through the window–whatever it takes to get in.
But God said no.
It is not in God’s character to enter by brute force. God respects our boundaries, even if we do not. God patiently allows us to be where we are in the process of healing and growth, even if we are in a rush to get on with it.
God Remains God
I realized that, even when I am not tender and gentle with myself, God remains true to God’s character. My limited understanding of who God is, filtered through the lens of my own experience, cannot and does not change God’s character. God remains patiently tender and gentle with me even when I am rushing and rough with myself. God remains God no matter where I am on this journey toward healing and wholeness.
No matter what is going on with me, God remains faithful. Maybe my irrational heart is not yet ready to trust God with every wounded, hidden place within me–however much I may wish to be. But my heart can trust God to be who God is no matter what is going on with me.
I can trust that even when I’m not ready to open the door yet (or even unlock it), God remains present with me in that unready space and keeps knocking. I can trust that God will never stop knocking before I’m ready to open the door.
The Invitation into Participation
The invitation to move toward health and wholeness is always being extended to us by our patient, gentle, unchangeable God. My prayer for myself and for each of you, fellow pilgrims, is that we may begin to trust that God remains God–always knocking, always patiently extending that invitation to us for however long it takes.
Blessings on your week, my friends!