My husband and I were headed to the St. Louis Art Museum a few days ago. As we drove through Forest Park, we turned right in front of the Zoo. On the corner stood a mom. Her stroller was parked beside her, empty. Her arms hung to her sides. Her gaze fixed on her toddler who lay on the ground kicking, screaming and rolling around.
My first thoughts were, "I am so glad we are past those days with our kids!" And, "Nice work mama! You are holding it together." As we made the turn onto the next street, I was struck by the mom's demeanor through the tantrum. She was not angry. She did not hurry the child along. Or shout back. She did not wear a grimace. Instead, her eyes were compassionate. Her posture gentle. Her temperament patient. She spoke no words.
She just waited.
She waited, as long as it took for her daughter to calm down, get back in the stroller so they could go on home. She knew eventually the battle within her daughter would be over.
In a few moments of watching her she taught me about the character of our Heavenly Father. This mom demonstrated God's ultimate patience. And I saw myself in that little curly headed blonde toddler who lay wailing and pounding the ground. A demonstration of a battle of the wills. My will or God's will.
God is patient with us.
Psalms 103:8 (VOICE) reads, "The Eternal is compassionate and merciful. When we cross all the lines, He is patient with us. When we struggle against Him, He lovingly stays with us- changing, convicting, prodding;"
I wonder if sometimes our waiting on God is in reality Him waiting on us to give up on the answer we want or expect and be open to what He has in store. Is He waiting on me to stop my tantrum and whining, get in the stroller so we can go home?
I imagine that on the days we are struggling against God, He looks on us with gentleness. He doesn't grow angry, or stomp His feet expecting that we should instantly want to do His will and negate our own. He does not shout or demean. He is not rude or curt.
He extends to us grace upon grace. And in time, He knows the battle within us will be over.
God is patient with us.
As long as it takes, He will wait. He will wait for us to stop throwing fits, wanting life to go our way. He waits for us because He loves us, just as the mom loves her toddler. Her love for her child draws out her patience, just as God has for us. He sees past our tantrums, our battling, our lack of faith and sees His children.