I tend to be an introvert. I need my own space and a lot of quiet. People can make me feel claustrophobic. My patience, grace, and kindness are finite. Limited. I allow circumstances and feelings to intrude and affect my responses—rarely for the good of myself or others.
I find myself in a vicious cycle of annoyance, impatience, anger, hurt. Slammed doors and silence. Until someone holds out an olive branch and we gingerly move together again.
How thankful I am that God is not like me. A.W. Tozer’s, in his book, The Attributes of God: A Journey into the Father’s Heart, begins with God’s infinitude. Tozer points out that because God is infinite, He has no limits, bounds, or ends. He isn’t usually good or mostly good, He is 100% good. All. The. Time.
When I take time to really think about this, my awe and wonder about God increases. How can I do anything but worship Him? His love and goodness never end. Never fail.
It doesn’t matter what I see or think or feel. The world may confuse me. I may not know what to do or how to do it.
How does that impact me? When I’m unsure, overwhelmed, beaten down, afraid, I can be joyful. Because I have hope in God.
Instead of a vicious cycle, God offers a hope cycle: love, joy, peace, compassion, kindness, goodness, mercy, grace. All hope. Never-ending, infinite.
This weekend when I spent a weekend with family, when I felt my patience wear thin, come to its limit, I knew I could choose. A vicious cycle of annoyance and impatience. Of selfishness and self-centeredness. Or I could choose hope.
Choosing hope meant removing myself from the group for a short time. Not to get away from them as much as to be with God. To focus on Him. In those moments, I went on a gift walk, letting the goodness and wonder of God and His creation, fill me with peace and joy. It is only when I submit to God, seek Him, allow Him to fill me with Himself, that I can respond to others with His love. Remembering who He is and how He loves, allowed me to return to the festivities ready to listen, converse, laugh, and enjoy.
Enjoy the people He gave me to love and who love me. His love for me and for them is infinite. It is available when I seek it. And when I am full of His love and goodness and kindness, I can give it to others.