Posted under The Rectory Bulletin

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)

Patience. There’s a word which conjures up the frustration of childhood! Christmas presents under a tree, mocking you with their shape and weight. You are sure you know what is in them, but … patience. The boredom of childhood illness, all Vicks Vapour Rub and creased bedsheets. Days merge together in a dreary haze as you wait to recover. The long drawn out wait to be picked up, when your parents are all of five minutes late. Patience.

Not that things get much easier as you grow older, as the ever lengthening and indeterminate lockdown rolls has shown us. When it comes to our lives, it would appear that our timing is always different from those around us. We may hide it better as adults, but the childhood impatience still lurks within.

In the Christian life, how often it is that God’s timing is not ours. In the book of Esther, the seventy-five foot high gallows were built for poor old Mordecai before he was vindicated by the king. Peter languished in prison, and it was only when Herod was about to summon him - no doubt to execute him as he had just executed James - that he had his miraculous escape. Daniel had to endure the lions’ den, and Joseph long years of imprisonment.

Whilst you might find yourself bewildered that, as today’s verse puts it, God “waits to be gracious to you” never be downcast. Patience may be a hard lesson, but a trust in God’s timing is a fine remedy and in God’s good time you will be able to testify with David: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).

Walking with Christ

And by this we know that we have come to know [Jesus], if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. (1 John 2:3–6) - The Christian life can be a struggle, but when you are struggling with something, when you find a commandment of Jesus hard to keep the answer is not sheer hard work. In those cases it is good to turn back to basics and ask yourself if you are abiding in Christ.

The Cave (Psalm 142)

A Maskil of David, When He Was in the Cave. A Prayer. With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him;I tell my trouble before him. (Psalm 142) - This psalm speaks to the despair of being alone and of being in trouble. Abandoned, David has been thrown onto the mercy of God and he pours out his heart before him.

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