Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Eternal Father Strong To Save"1 (Lyrics)
The other day, I answered a request to volunteer with ticket sales at a softball tournament to be held at the high school field in our small town. It had been years since any of our children had participated in such activities, as they are all now parents of children who are of high school age and above. It was June and it is Texas, USA, so I knew at the outset that it would be hot! Fortunately, the table where I received the payments was in the shade, and there was a breeze. There was a steady stream of customers, but I noticed that some folks went to the stands over by another field and did not come to pay.
When the organizer of the tournament called me about something, I mentioned that there were some people who had not come by the stand to pay. A bit later, she called again to say that those people were there to watch the practice of some six-year-olds who were to be in a tournament the following week. And then, the memories came!
We were new residents of Houston, Texas, and our son was in the first grade. My husband was asked to coach a team of six-year-olds that had not won a single game the previous year. He accepted the challenge, and he and some others began to work with these children. Over and over they went, explaining the rules and demonstrating the skills required to play. It was not easy, but the efforts were productive. The team won half of their games. The next year, it was the same thing, over and over and over, as one-half of the team had never played tee-ball at all. Even though there was no guarantee of success, those coaches kept working with the young boys. That year, they won the league.
After the tournament, on the ride home through our beautiful rural countryside, I reflected not only on the beauty of our area but also on God's grace and patience with each of us.
Psalm 86:15 – But you, Lord, are a compassionate God, merciful and patient, with unending gracious love and faithfulness. (ISV)
Coaches of six-year-old teams everywhere show infinite patience with their young charges, and sometimes, the children continue to make mistakes. Like those coaches, over and over and over, God is longsuffering with each of us, forgiving us for our many sins and constant in His love. God continues to show infinite patience with each of us — even when we are over six years old and continue to make the same mistakes over and over and over.
Let's practice the same patience with others' mistakes as God does with ours!
Prayer: Our Father God, we so easily forget how You show patience and persistent love for us on a daily basis. Help us to remember Your graciousness to us and remind us to practice this same patience and persistence in our lives as we deal with life's challenges and problems. Amen.