He knows what we struggle with and how long we’ve struggled.
If you’ve ever trained a puppy, you know about patience. The good news is that puppies in the early weeks of life are hard-wired to follow their pack leader. They want to please us and to do what’s asked of them. It just takes these furry companions a minute to figure out what our voice, gestures, schedules, boundaries and treats mean.
As followers of Jesus, we want to please him. We want to do what’s expected of us and become more like him.
Peter is a great example of this. He loved Jesus and followed him wholeheartedly, even stepping out of a boat to attempt walking on water after him (Matthew 14:29). He told Jesus that even if all the other disciples fell away, he would stay faithful (Matthew 26:33).
Yet Jesus knew the truth about Peter. He replied, “This very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.” (v. 34). Sure enough, that’s what happened.
Peter probably beat himself up pretty good that night. After everything Jesus had taught him and how much his life had changed, he was still a work in progress.
It took time for God to chisel Peter into the “rock” he would build the church upon (Matthew 16:18). He was patient with Peter’s fledgling spiritual growth and never stopped believing in who he would become.
He’s patient with you too.
He knows what you struggle with and how long you’ve struggled. He bears with each of us when we mess up. He is the very definition of love, which 1 Corinthians 13 tells us is both patient and kind.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for never giving up on me. Thank you for bearing with me in spite of my challenges. I desire to keep growing spiritually and ask for your help to stay steady on the journey. I leave my frustrations at the foot of the cross today and trust in your perfect ways and perfect timing as you mold me into Christlikeness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.