Thursday, November 22, 2012

“Problem Child”

Thanksgiving Day 2012

   As I walked on a cool, sunny, beautiful Thanksgiving morning, a particular thought of gratitude came to mind (and properly stayed for awhile).

   “But Thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15).

   As the Lord’s ongoing problem child, “longsuffering” seems an apt term for the challenge I am to Him.  How often He must exercise patience with me, forgiving me and repeating lessons that should have been well-learned long ago.  Our Lord has indeed suffered long with me, and on this day devoted to expressing gratitude, His patience is at or near the top of my list.

    God’s measure of patience seems to be in inverse proportion to our own.  We have no frame of reference for the merciful compassion that fills His heart.  Certainly, He condones no sin or waywardness on our part, but He does understand the challenges we face in faithful and godly living. Thus, our Heavenly Father suffers longer toward us than we can imagine ourselves exhibiting toward others.  This we do well to remember because if we apply our human frame of reference to our perception of the Divine version, we limit experience of the merciful longsuffering that redeems us from our deepest pit.

   On this Thanksgiving Day, I think of mercy, of grace, and of a Father who has suffered long, so very, very long with me.  And I give thanks.

“His merciful kindness is great toward us!”

(Psalm 117:2)  

    Now thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift.

(II Corinthians 9:15)

No comments: