“Return to the Lord your God, for he is GRACIOUS and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” Joel 2:13 (ESV).
There was once a man who got a flat tire while driving down a lonely country road on a rainy night. He had just discovered that he was missing the lug wrench that should have been in the trunk of his car when he noticed a dimly lit farmhouse off in the distance. He started walking in that direction despite the pouring rain, hoping to borrow a lug wrench from the farmer. But it was already late at night. Indeed the farmer was already asleep in his warm bed. He might not even answer the door, and even if he did, the man thought to himself, he would be angry to be awakened at this hour of the night. “But what right does he have to be angry at me when I’m stranded in the middle of nowhere and soaking wet!” Thought the man.
Before he arrived at the farmhouse, he had already had a full argument with this “selfish” farmer in his head. So much so that when he finally got to the house, he banged loudly on the door. “Who is it?” a voice called out from inside. “You know who it is! It’s me! And you can keep your lug wrench. I wouldn’t borrow it now if it were the last one on earth!” the man shouted as he stormed back off out into the rain.
Sometimes the way we think we’ll be received affects the way we approach. That’s why the Bible places such great importance on understanding God. Our thoughts about God affect our willingness to come to Him when we find ourselves stranded spiritually and shivering in the cold rains that life sometimes throws at us. As pointed out in one of the previous episodes entitled “God’s Nature”, God is not a tyrant who is just ready to strike us down whenever we do something wrong. Joel 2:13 says, “Return to the Lord your God, for he is GRACIOUS and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love” (ESV). Listed as one of the defining characteristics of God is Grace. That means that it’s in God’s very nature to be forgiving. So when we mess up, let’s not approach God picturing Him as an angry farmer who’s only going to slam the door in our faces. Let’s approach Him instead as He really is: a God who is patient and more than willing to forgive; a God who welcomes us with open arms,
who gives us grace in our time of need and then invites us to live for Him.
Prayer: Dear God, we worship and adore you because you are merciful and gracious. You are slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. We thank you for your goodness to us today. Amen.