I’m raising two teens. Perhaps all teens are like this… but I find having conversations with them, at times, akin to having to personally, forcefully, remove teeth from their mouths. Their faces– big eyes, tight lips, silence… convince me they must feel the same.
But these conversations must be had.
And I lose patience. All of it. Navigating the manipulation-via-silence versus time-to-process-information may as well slay me. Sometimes it does. My patience, at least. Then I say things like, “You want a relationship with us… but relationships require a level of dialogue. Let me know when you’re ready to talk,” and I usher them out the door.
Ain’t nobody got time for that. (Yes, yes I just did).
Then I flop back on my bed and think, UGH! Will I ever get this right? How ’bout an “I love you, sweetie, and want to hear your heart. I’m always here when you want to talk” and then I just sit and wait.
But I don’t have it… the yanking of metaphorical teeth is exhausting. Draining. It hurts my brain.
Then it hits me like a blast… right in the middle of my self-reprimanding tirade:
There is GLORY in God’s patience.
His patience to put off His due wrath and judgment so that a few more turn their hearts. His long-suffering… how we sin again and again against Him… how this world turns with such evil.. yet He waits for those few, that not one would perish to His haste.
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)
I catch a glimpse of that glory in my own impatience… the grating of nails across my soul to wait… to suffer long. The glimpse is to my shame but to His great credit. Praise God for His patience or I would be lost. May I yet walk so patiently. To pour and pour and pour my heart and sweat and soul into that which returns no regard… returns only big blank stares and stone hearts. How He must ache a million times over… and yet He’s patient.
When I deserve wrath, He is patient… waiting that I would lift my eyes up.
When I deserve judgment, He is patient… suffering long as a parent waiting for their child to come home.
When I deserve condemnation, He is patient… holding His tongue and offering His heart instead.
Where I deserve nothing good, He offers every good and perfect gift.
“Love is patient” (1 Corinthians 13:4a).
“…God is love” (1 John 4:8).
Even when I stare with big eyes, tight lips, and silence, He is patient.
In my nothing, He is everything, and it is here His glory shines.
His glory is the beauty in my mess. It fills the emptiness between what I am and what He needs and makes it sufficient.
Makes me sufficient.
Even as I close the bedroom door behind my children and kick myself again for another less-than parenting moment… He is patient.
Lord, let Your glory fall!
(Chasing Glory with my sweet Dorina Gilmore and a handful of our special people. Join us! #GloryChasers)