The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands… Exodus 34:6

This verse describes God’s character and we were made to live in His image. We were built to be patient. Keeping mercy. Abounding in goodness. These characteristics imply a story that requires these attributes as it unfolds. Do I have patience for the story to play out?              

Not usually. My self-improvement plan is aggressive. I’d like to be done with some struggles. Why can’t I learn lessons once and for all, instead of circling back all the time? I used to ask the Holy Spirit to expedite things, until a wise lady said, “Slow, gradual progress is real progress.” Hmm…

Maybe the God who sees the scope of eternity has patience because He’ll work with me on these things as long as it takes.

What else am I insisting happen sooner than later? Marriage issues resolved? Letting the truth about a situation come out? People healing in their messy way? (As if there were a tidy option.) Physical healing? Letting myself learn as slowly as I do? Kids’ development? Debt reduction?

I’m surrendering my deadlines and I invite you to do the same. The best things we do, don’t have deadlines.

When will you stop loving the people God’s blessed you with? Never.

When will you stop serving the world when you’re called? Never.

When will you stop looking for ways to connect with God more deeply. Never.

Calendar pages come and go, but our biggest and best goals never get crossed off. And you know what happens when you lay down your deadlines? Like magic, the pressure is gone and you’re left with the gift of peace because you and Jesus have time to work. Together.

He’ll never leave me or forsake me. He’s in this with me, no matter how long it takes.