Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you,
and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you.
For the Lord is a God of justice;
blessed are all those who wait for him.
Isaiah 30:18 (ESV)
A stirring of renewed energy and purpose has fallen into my life as of lately. I mean, I have always been positive and optimistic. I rarely take many things personally. When I am confused, I speak, or write upon what I have carefully studied and professionally informed on. Additionally, I do not lash out when unconstructive perceptions surrounding me appear. When I believe criticism or uncompassionate behaviors of others lurk or leak into my surroundings. To not allow acknowledgement about the characteristics of some people and circumstances to control my mind. I know I am not perfect when it comes to my involvement in this human experience. I think right now of when I am driving—staying clear of young, distracted drivers, speeders, the ones who enjoy the sound of their car horn, and the impatient—staying far away so that I do not lose my cool. Though seldom. No Bueno when I lose my cool! Yes, a work in progress, for sure, as I try so hard to be continuously intentional charting this course of life.
The verse I have chosen to lead this reflection resembles Jesus’ delay, mentioned below. Although it is in reference to the people of Jerusalem, in its relevance, the verse tells us that God finds delight in us and gives us time for Him to work in and through us in many cases. He does this even when we are disobedient in sinful chosen paths and behavioral patterns. God truly wants to help us, but occasionally He waits for us to come to our senses first. He waits for us so that we may understand that all He wants is to be gracious to us. Like a child who picks up a piece of wood to use as an imaginary sword, we, too, have our own pretend, dispositions, and reasons why we fight His processes.
I know a good deal from my upbringing, from many of the books I have read, my life experiences, schooling, my work, the people I have loved, those I love, and one of two choices I’d like to love deeply. I look from afar, and I wonder and imagine what this love-filled life would look like. About the opportunity, I’d give myself to trust in this and build upon this love. I am not lonely whatsoever, but there are moments when I understand the way I could love another to be an understated enhancement that my life could honor. Of course, this would mean that I would have to take the time to move in this direction. Yet, another thing I must do. To take the time to tell my story. To take the time to listen to another’s story. Giving more than I receive. I can do that. To showcase that love of Jesus. To exemplify His love with this new growing love. I can do that too. But am I ready?
I listen, I read, and I slow down in the life I live each day. To be alive in ways my entire being embraces as meaningful, as enjoyable, as graceful. To gently communicate even when I am silent, acknowledge the things I find pleasing, see but not speak, wonder for knowledge, weave the many proses of communication, and glorify beginnings and not endings. To appreciate so much the journeys. To know where I/we came from, grasp where I am (we are), as I grow in wisdom through God’s words. I like this, His version better. He who draws me to real love, truth, beauty, and grace as I hold on to the fidelity of biblical writings and instructions.
I have written heavily on emotions today. I have also touched on human nature and personalities to include my own. When I become more personal than usual, like I have done today, I often think of the loving home in the town of Bethany where Jesus visited. Many biblical scholars have surmised that Jesus visited the home of Lazarus, Mary, and Martha often (Matthew 21:17; Mark 11:11; Luke 10:41-42), because this was a sort of sweet place for Him to rest. A place where He was loved and understood. And, likewise, a place with three very distinct personalities. Lazarus, a man of few words. Mary, exhibiting the delicateness of womanhood. And Martha, the robust and active keeper of the home. Jesus’ love for these three siblings showed how much He adores our different personalities. Even if all these personalities are embedded in one person. In John 11:1-46, we read into the text, all the varying characteristics of Jesus too. He was stern, sorrowful, troubled, and He was thankful to God.
Jesus can hasten the soul of anyone who allows Him to enter in. We understand this in John’s story when Jesus brought Lazarus from Satan’s corruption (Psalm 16:10 depicted as a type and shadow here). I credit my sense of renewed energy and purpose only to Him. He is life-giving, as He is gracious. And, despite my occasional mishaps on this human path, I am still loved by Him. His wealth of divine depth brings me to repent of some of the craziness I allow to creep in at times. His divine economy raises my assurances that I must remain positive, optimistic, and I must stay real. I know He is always close. So, for now, His all-loving works of power and mercy are sufficient for me, allowing me to still wonder about that love.
Friends, no matter what, He is so able as He is willing! Through any valley, Jesus is with us! Let us also remember that as in the case of Lazarus, Jesus’ delays are never rejections. Give Him time, because I believe that the consistency of giving God glory persistently guides Him.