When Abigail came home from work she was once again frustrated that her brother hadn’t left a note telling her where he was. I was visiting with family and she had asked him to let her know if he decided to do something with his friend. Although she could probably confirm his location with one phone call, she was perturbed that he hadn’t done as she asked. “He always says he forgot and apologizes, but if he really meant it, why doesn’t he change?” Abigail vented to me. It was a reasonable question.
Does God ever feels that way about me? When I come to Him for the hundredth or thousandth time asking forgiveness for a sin, I wonder if God says, “Again? Really? How many times are you going to blow it, Gaye? Will you ever learn?” Surely this gets old to Him. It does to me. Jesus died for my sin and through His resurrection He has given me the power to be victorious over my sin. But here I am yet again.
Thankfully, God is infinitely more patient than I will ever be! He is longsuffering and He remembers I am made of dust. And He does want me to come to Him every single time I’ve blown it. This is why sinless Jesus had to die for my sin. Because I could never live up to my righteous God’s standards.
Psalm 103: 8-13 says,
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy, He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever. He hath not dealt with us after our sin; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
But if I am really sorry, why am I not changing? Could it be that I don’t hate my sin enough to do what it takes to change? I vividly remember often crying myself to sleep as a young mother of three little girls under the ages of 3 1/2 as I thought about the events of the day. I was too impatient, too snappy with my responses, too upset about the many spilled drinks, too tired…… too stressed to enjoy these precious moments with my little ones.
I would pray and ask God to forgive me. I vowed to do better the next day. More often than not, the next day was a repeat of the day before.
I memorized Bible verses like these.
Proverbs 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
and Matthew 18:6 Whoso therefore shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him (or her!) that a millstone were hanged about his (her) neck, and that he (she) were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Romans 5:3 says tribulation works patience. I’m not sure if I finally had enough tribulation to make me patient or if the pressures of life eased up enough that my impatience wasn’t as obvious, but one day I noticed I wasn’t flying off the handle as often. Although I have often been tempted to quit, with Jesus’ help I keep trying to do better. Even though I have a natural bent to be impatient, I know with Jesus’ help, I can be an overcomer.
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (Romans 8:37)
The point is, my battle with sin has been a real struggle…something I won’t be rid of until I can lay this body of flesh down to enter into Jesus’ presence in heaven. But thankfully, I serve a loving, patient God that understands me and loves me anyway.
Keep looking up,
P.S. I would love to hear about how the Lord has helped you with your struggles. I’m sure it would be a blessing to others reading this too. Please share with us!