I woke up this morning not feeling too well. You know the kind of day – a hard time concentrating, no energy, wish I could go home, can’t wait till it’s over day. It’s not as bad as Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, (some of you won’t connect that) but it isn’t one of my best days either. I’m just feeling tired!
That got me to wondering – does God ever get tired? Not physically tired like us, but does He get tired of:
-our constant complaining
-our weak faith
-our selfish prayers
-our stubborn insistence on doing it our own way
-our lackadaisical spiritual lives
-our __________ (fill in the blank)
Does God ever just get tired of us? After all we can be an exasperating lot. Think the Nation of Israel II. If we were a movie we would be Israel the Sequel.
So does God get tired of us (if we can even speak of the eternal God in this way)? I’m sure that there is a better way to express what happens in the heart and mind of God then the word tired, but humor me for a moment. In one sense I think that God does grow tired of our spiritual childishness. Exodus 32 and Numbers 16 certainly indicate that God grew tired of Israel’s unfaithfulness and would have destroyed them had not Moses interceded. Stand back Moses, I’m going to burn these hard-headed rebels to a crisp (Exodus 32:9, my paraphrase). Call it whatever you want – growing tired, anger, disapproval, dismay, our lack of godliness provokes a response in the heart of God.
In another sense, because He is GOD, He is infinitely patient with us. Several New Testament passages talk about the longsuffering of God (Luke 18:7, 2 Peter 3:9).
In one of my favorite passages from the Old Testament (Psalm 103) we’re told,
The Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in mercy.
He will not always strive with us,
nor will He keep His anger forever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor punished us according to our iniquities.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
As a father pities his children,
so the Lord pities those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remember that we are dust.
I find great comfort in the knowledge that if God does get tired of my spiritual immaturity, He also remembers that I am dust – spiritually weak and prone to wander (another oblique reference). And that His anger is tempered by His mercy. And that He hasn’t dealt with me in the way I deserve. And that He takes pity on me. Not that any of that justifies my ungodliness but it does give me hope.
Stay in the Word