“The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger…” ~Exodus 34:6
Patience is tough. Boy, it is for me. I believe it is for all of us. Especially today. We don’t just have cars and TVs and microwave ovens, we’ve got cell phones and computers and AI and 5G, we’ve got drive-thrus for everything and online for everything else. And it’s making us a much less patient people.
Our God reveals his name to us in Exodus 34, he tells us exactly who he is. This is God’s nature, his character, his eternal will. Slow to anger. Long-suffering. Patient. Oh, my, is he patient.
God does not experience time the same way we do. He has a much different perspective on clocks and calendars. What seems like ages to us is just a blink to our Lord. If my computer doesn’t load my Google search in three seconds, I get impatient. I get upset in line at the grocery store. My garage door goes up too slowly. But God is patient. God is willing to let entire centuries go by, he lets whole millennia pass as he carefully works out his eternal purposes. He waits. He delays. He is patient.
Romans 2 says it’s this patience of God that leads to repentance. God’s patience is a big part of what saves us. 1 Timothy 2 tells us God wants everybody to be saved and that’s why he waits.
“Our Lord’s patience means salvation.” ~2 Peter 3:15
The world needs us to reflect God’s patience. To practice it. To demonstrate it consistently. We live in a harsh world. This world is not slow to anger, it is quick to anger. It is fast to judge. It is in a hurry to criticize and condemn. This world needs a shock absorber. We need to show our God’s patience to everyone we’re around because our God has been so incredibly patient with us.