Yesterday, I was given an opportunity to speak in front of 10-15 sets of parents during the half-time period of a local church’s basketball ministry. In this time segment, while the coaches are advising their teams, the parents there to support their kids are left sitting, watching the clock run down until the game resumes. The leaders of this church decided to take advantage of the awkward-wait time to share the Gospel with these parents, as kids from throughout the community come to play on these teams. And I was asked to speak at two of the afternoon’s half-times. After praying about it, I decided to share about Hesed and patience, so these lessons God taught me have been on my mind recently…..
Tonight we did communion again with Grace Church, and, once again, God used the testimony of someone else to teach me something. A man spoke about a friend of his finally surrendering his life to Jesus on his deathbed after being prayed over for 30+ years, and this man quoted 2 Peter 3:9 :
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
And this verse brought back the picture God gave me regarding “hupo meno”, the greek word literally meaning “to remain under”, which we translate as “patience”. But this time, instead of picturing a man on a bench press, I pictured Jesus in Heaven (cheesy, I know, but bear with me.) His “burden” is the sin and pain of this world; He bears it, “remains under” it, by allowing another day to pass because His desire for repentant hearts is stronger than the pain this patience brings Him. And that really humbled me….. In no way whatsoever is God pleased with the pain and sin so rampant in this world. In fact, it hurts Him more than it ever would hurt us, for it is a blatant assault against His very nature. But, rather than eradicate the source of His pain, He is patient with it. He is meek.
A dear woman-friend of mine who mentored me years ago defined meekness in a way I’ll never forget. Meekness = strength restrained. Meekness is the father holding his newborn daughter for the first time, his every movement careful and measured so as not to wake his precious child. Meekness is the artist steadying her painting hand, her every stroke methodical and precise. Meekness….. is Jesus hanging on the cross, His every breath a decision to suffer for me, for us, instead of easily removing Himself from His excruciating pain and humiliation. Meekness is God’s patience in 2 Peter 3. It’s God allowing one more day of sin and pain, because He values that soul who surrenders to Him more than He wants to be free of the insult of sin. Not that He won’t eventually put an end to sin; the day is coming when all will be made right (hallelujah!). But until then, God is meek. God is patient.
Thank You, Jesus.