“The Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you.” Isaiah 30:18
Have you ever heard one thing, when the person speaking meant to communicate something completely different? Oftentimes we jump to negative conclusions because we are suspicious of the motives of others, or because we feel so bad about ourselves that we assume the worst. It is easy to do this with God. If our filter is the law, and we feel God’s motive is judgment, we will take any communication from Him as negative. This puts a weight of guilt on us leading us to live without the joy, peace, and the sense of expectancy that He wants us to live in. We know we’re saved by grace; now He wants us to learn how to live in grace.
A few years ago I lost some tickets to a play Alice and I were excited about going to. I had been careful with them all week long and kept them in a place where I didn’t think they could get misplaced but on the day of the event, somehow they were gone. After looking everywhere I was feeling frustrated and embarrassed for losing them. We contacted the ticket office and left a message on a recorder but as we arrived, I was fully expecting to have to pay again to see the performance. Instead, I was greeted by an elderly couple at the ticket table who were filled with mercy. Yes, they had received the message, and no, we didn’t have to pay again. “We all lose something once in a while,” said the man who sensed my pain and wanted to make it easy for me to accept the tickets they had made for us.
This is what God is like. He’s not thinking about the stupid thing we did and the judgment He’s going to bring because of it. He longs to be gracious to us and is waiting for us to look up and receive His compassion. He wants us to let go of past regrets; He wants us to succeed; He wants us to go forward; and He wants us to grow in our confidence in Him.
“Let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Hebrews 4:16)