Cima da Conegliano, “God the Father”, c.1515
How sweet to my taste is your promise!
We all know well that we often need to be patient. In fact, we always need to practice patience.
We pray, we ask, and most times we need to wait. Waiting in faith on God.
We continually need to be reminded that God always hears us and always answers, always—just not always according to what we think best.
God answers in a perfect manner: He answers with what will best nourish our growth into salvation at that current moment in our particular journey toward Eternity.
Sometimes though the waiting is on the other side. Sometimes God is waiting on us. For God showers us with so many blessings, with so much grace—and at the same time He gifts our nature with free will—the freedom to accept or reject: to say “yes”, “no”, or “maybe so”.
These “circumstances” quite often result in a “backlog” of grace. Not that God ever runs dry or is stingy in dishing it out. No, of course not, the “backlog” is caused by us, when we do not properly use our free will to accept what God offers. And God, being pure kindness, in His perfect love honors our choice. He is patient with us. He waits.
We need to receive what He has already offered, previously sent, and is still pouring out upon us, before additional grace and blessings could possibly do us good.
God of course could make us instantly receive and utilize all the gifts that He offers. God can do anything. But He loves us so much that He wants us to participate and cooperate with Him, to co-labor, and doesn’t that make sense?
For when you love someone you want him or her to receive the maximum blessing, the maximum peace, the maximum joy that he or she can possibly receive. And God by not forcing Himself or His gifts upon us, is giving us just that opportunity—the opportunity to be part of His victory.
Put is this way, is it more fun to go to a victory celebration for someone you watched win from afar, or is more joyous to be part of the victory itself, to have actually contributed to the very victory that is being celebrated?
Participation always enhances.
God allows us to participate. It is one of the greatest signs of His love. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. (John 3:16) And God allows us to share in that very sacrifice, that very victory over death itself.
But of course with participation comes some sweat, some effort, some trials, some moments of stepping into uncomfortable spaces—sometimes some extremely uncomfortable and painful circumstances. But be not afraid:
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,
and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17)
So the next time we are about to ask something of God, perhaps each one of us should consider this: Maybe we should first ask for the grace to fully receive the blessings, the love, the mercy, the grace that He has already sent our way but that we have not yet fully accepted or received.
For when we fully receive, we always end up surprised—supernaturally surprised at just how much God has already done!
He is not only a step ahead of us, He is eternally with us.
God is great.
He pours down blessings.
The Blood of Christ is powerful beyond our capacity to understand.
His promises are so real that they are currently being fulfilled—for they are always being spoken—and what God speaks He does.
Ask. Ask God, then. Ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to receive—how to graciously receive—and we’ll find that we also learn how to generously give.
Lord, may I receive the grace to receive your blessings: The grace to receive your grace.
May I be in a pure state of receptivity.
May I be purely passive within Your perfect presence—knowing that only then can I be effectively active—knowing that You are in complete control and have everything, every detail, perfectly worked out.
Help my unbelief!
Increase my love!
Deepen my trust in You, Triune God.
Thank You, Lord, for what You have already sent my way: The promise of eternal life, of permanent peace and joy, of love. Pure Love. Pure Perpetual Love.
Thank You for the gift of faith. The gift of prayer. The gift of Hope—Hope not only in eternal life but in the promise that You will always provide the help and assistance I need to reach eternal life and to do Your will while I travel through this world—a world in which I am a stranger—a pilgrim stretching forward, ever heading home.
May I practice profound gratitude by simply saying, “Yes”,
by simply saying, “Amen”,
by simply saying, “So be it.”
I do receive. I do accept.
And I do say, “Thank You, God.”
You are great.
I love You too.