The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands… Exodus 34:6

This verse describes God’s character and we were made to live in His image. We were built to be patient. Keeping mercy. Abounding in goodness. These characteristics
imply a story that requires these attributes as it unfolds. Do I have patience for the story
to play out?              

Not usually? My self-improvement plan is aggressive and I’d like to be done with some struggles. You know, cross one thing off! Why can’t I learn lessons once and for all, instead of circling back all the time? I used to ask the Holy Spirit to expedite things, until a wise woman said, “Slow, gradual progress is real progress.” Hmm…

Maybe the God who sees the scope of eternity has patience because He’ll work with me on these things as long as it takes.

What else am I insisting happen sooner than later? Marriage issues resolved? Letting the truth about a situation come out? People healing in their messy way? (As if there were a tidy option.) Physical healing? Letting myself learn as slowly as I do? Kids’ development? Debt reduction? Career progress?

I’m surrendering my deadlines and I invite you to do the same. Have you ever noticed that the best, most important things we do, don’t have deadlines?

When will you stop loving the people God’s blessed you with? Never.

When will you stop serving the world when you’re called? Never.

When will you stop looking for ways to connect more deeply with God? Never.

When you’re fed up and feel like a failure because something’s taking too long, keep mercy. Keep being gracious to yourself and others. Plant your feet solidly in goodness and truth. We may be suffering long, but we’ll manage better if we allow ourselves the goodness around us. Really sad? Take a nap. Overwhelmed? Make a list. Confused? Journal. Do what you know helps, because even if you’re a mess, you deserve relief. You do. Jesus promised rest to people and all people are flawed. Your mistakes don’t exclude you from grace. They really don’t.

Even if you’re a mess, you deserve relief.

Calendar pages come and go, but our biggest and best goals never get crossed off. Lay down your deadlines and self-punishment. Step into the peace of knowing you and Jesus have time to work. Together. He’ll never leave me or forsake me. He’s right here by my side, never losing patience, no matter how long it takes.