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God is patient, but...

Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. (Romans 5:6-8)

If God had to wait for your timing on some of that 'life change' that really needs to happen in your life, just how long do you think he'd have to wait? I am going to admit something to you about my life - I don't like waiting, but I don't seem to mind it when God is kept waiting on things he clearly has asked me to do! God asks for some form of obedience and I drag my feet, not because I don't think it will be good for me, but because I just don't like what he is asking me to do. As a little girl, mom would tell me I had a couple chores to do before I got to go play, despite the fact my friends were beckoning from the back porch for me to join them. I did the chores, but do you think I had much joy in completing the tasks well? Not really - I just wanted the outcome - to go out to play. There are times we just want the outcome, but we don't like the time it takes to get from where we are to where we need to be.

God is an 'on time' God. He isn't a "your time" or "my time" kind of God. Yes, he gives us the length of rope it takes to get us to the place of surrender in our lives, but he is perfectly on time with his 'desired outcome'. We need 'getting ready time', but God has been ready for that posture of obedience in our lives for quite sometime. Knowing what to do between the time the request hits our heart until our mind catches up with the tug upon our heart requires grace and patience on God's part. On our part, it requires adjusting to the 'next steps' we are being asked to take in order to realize the outcome. Basically, we need to move from hearing to doing and we all know how difficult those actions can be that have to happen between hearing and doing. 

God continually puts his love on the line for us - from the cross to our place of perfect obedience. He is there in the midst of our muddle, no matter how 'ready' we are to have that muddle cleaned away. Grace doesn't know the bounds of time, but his love pulls us tighter as we attempt to lengthen the rope! God doesn't lessen his grip on our lives just because we take a while to move into that place of obedience he is requesting of us. His grip grows stronger, but not in a punitive way. His grip just keeps his request for obedience front and center in our hearts until our minds (will and emotions) have a chance to catch up with the action he requires. We want to wait a while - but while we are waiting we want to enjoy the privilege of the outcome, don't we?

We cannot have it both ways. Mom showed me when I did my chores then I was free to enjoy the rest of the day with my friends. That one hour spent doing chores afforded me about twelve additional hours of running, jumping, bike riding, hiding, doll dressing, and trampoline jumping. One hour of obedience - actions done well and without resistance - resulted in the outcome of multiple hours of something I considered much more 'pleasant'. Some of us need to remember to get from where we are today to where we know we need to be tomorrow will require a little bit of 'unpleasantness' on our part in order to enjoy the multiplied blessings we will definitely consider 'pleasant'. Just sayin!

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