“But you are a God of forgiveness…slow to become angry, and full of love and mercy; you didn’t abandon them.” (Nehemiah 9:17)
Ever wonder how different the world would be if you were in charge? In the movie Bruce Almighty, God briefly bestowed all of his tasks upon the main character. Bruce Nolan had big plans and bright ideas but, unfortunately, his bloated ego caused even bigger problems, revealing just how short Bruce fell from being Almighty.
Despite some of my own questions and complaints, I’m thankful I’m not God because He is the opposite of all my worst character traits. Plus, He never gets distracted or falls asleep (two of my biggies). “But you are a God of forgiveness…slow to become angry, and full of love and mercy; you didn’t abandon them.” (Nehemiah 9:17) One of the reasons I love this key verse is because it not only shows God’s sufficiency but His proficiency – He does all things well, including forgiveness. Too often this is a stumbling block for mankind but with the Lord, it’s a done deal.
God understands our human frailty. In fact, Jesus told His disciples, “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. Psalm 27:8 shows me who I want to be: “My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Yet, when I compare that scripture to an average day in my life, as journaled years ago, my own weak flesh is all too evident:
The bedside alarm beeps. My spouse nudges me. I roll out of bed to rouse the rest of the sleeping household when I hear a faint whisper, “Come sit with Me”.
“Good morning, God! Hold on. I have to get the kids ready for school and feed the animals. Then, I’ll sit with you.”
A little later, I curl up on the couch with a cup of coffee, eager to catch up with friends on social media. There’s that whisper again, “Come sit with Me”.
“Oh, right. Sorry, God.” I place my phone facedown and begin to thank God for His many blessings when a loud boing interrupts from the couch beside me. I look at the caller ID…
“Uh, God…Hold on. I need to get that”.
And the day goes on.
As I finally climb into bed, “Come” beckons once more.
I reach for my Bible to read, but The Word on my lips gets hoodwinked by a snore…
How does that saying go? “Standing before a king, chasing butterflies” (or swatting mosquitoes!). Wow, if I was God and anyone treated me that way, poof, they’re done! Let me repeat, I’m so glad I’m not God and especially that He’s not me.
We have an open invitation to come talk with the King of Kings any time, every day. And when we don’t come, we not only miss out on His marvelous work, but we frustrate our own. When we eventually realize this and truly repent, He fully and faithfully forgives. In light of this, He asks us to extend forgiveness to others (including ourselves) in the same way. No human offense is greater than our heavenly debt, which Jesus paid in full on the cross. That was Christ’s heart choice. What’s yours? Our days reflect this in use of time, focus, energy, even finances. We prioritize what and who we love.
Instead of saying “hold on” to God, we need to intentionally hold on to God. And when that’s too hard (praise His holy name), knowing our fleshly grip is weak, He holds on for us with Almighty, nail-pierced hands. May that love continually prompt hearts to respond in obedience, quickly and fervently! Can’t you just hear Him calling?