Fall 2021 SS Magazine

Daily Devotional: Tuesday, August 24 - God’s Patient Heart

“But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” — Psalm 86:15 (ESV)

Our Heavenly Father is abundantly patient with us. So vast is His love that our hearts can always be filled with His affection. So perfect is His leadership and wisdom that He makes available to us a perfect and pleasing life through every season. And yet He is patient to guide us into the fullness of life afforded to us by Christ’s sacrifice. He waits, sweetly beckoning us to simply trust Him and cultivate a heart of constant communion with Him.

In Luke 15, Jesus tells us of a prodigal son who foolishly and pridefully leaves perfect communion with his father to chase after worldly satisfaction. The father lovingly obliges his son, offers him his inheritance as if he himself were dead, and watches as his son leaves a life in his father’s care to lead a lifestyle of destruction. And the father waits, patiently hoping for the return of his child.

I find myself daily leaving the perfection of communion with my Heavenly Father to seek the things of the world. I seek after success and admiration from the lost and broken, rather than simply receiving the unconditional acceptance of my Father. I abandon perfect peace for the striving and stress of worldly gain. I reject the loving and perfect thoughts of my Father for the fleeting and unfounded affection of others.

I am the prodigal son. We all are. And yet our Heavenly Father has a patient heart toward us. He waits to run out to meet us. Psalm 86:15 (ESV) says, “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.” Just when I think my Heavenly Father will reject me for my sin and rebellion, He runs out to clothe me with the best robe, a ring and new shoes like the prodigal son’s father did. Just when I think He’ll send me off to the fields as a slave for punishment, He throws a feast in my honor. Just when I think I am unworthy of His affections and attention, He reminds me of the death of His Son, sacrificed that I might receive the abundance of unconditional love and grace my Father has toward me.

I long to live in the embrace of my Father. I long to end my days of wayward pursuits. I long to rest in the perfect communion available to me in Jesus. There is no source of true love apart from Him. There is no relationship more satisfying than one with our God. There is no identity more freeing than being the child of the Creator. And there is no real grace outside of His overwhelmingly patient heart.

May we, as the bride of Christ, turn our feet toward the home of our Father and confess our need of Him. May we humble ourselves before a God who is both patient and powerful. And may we allow Him to pick us up off our knees, clothe us with honor and love, and wrap us up in His grace-filled arms. Your God is patient toward you, waiting with expectation in His heart for what He can do in your life. Receive the love He longs to give and experience the abundant life that comes only through restored relationship with your patient Father.

— Craig Denison, First 15

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