Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. Isaiah 30:18
Most of us don’t like waiting, especially for the good things we desire. But we’ll do it when we believe the outcome is worth waiting for.
Our opening scripture reveals that God also waits. What does He wait for? To be gracious.
Let that thought sink in, beloved. The Lord waits to be gracious to you. He longs to pour out His favor and show you mercy. He simply waits for the opportunity.
So what provides that opportunity? What is our God of grace waiting for? He reveals it in verse 15.
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
God waits for His people to return to Him. He waits for us to stop trying to handle everything ourselves and to rest in His strength.
But He also reveals our problem at the end of that verse.
But you were unwilling.
It’s really an amazing picture when you think about it. God—our Creator—mighty, yet full of mercy, longs to empower His people with the blessings of His grace. But we are unwilling to return. So He allows us the free will to choose to deny Him.
And His heart breaks as He watches us stumble in our pain.
Returning and rest release salvation, beloved. You may be wondering why those two elements are important to God. It really goes back to the whole reason He made man in the first place.
He didn’t create us to be slaves or puppets to serve Him. He didn’t need us. He desired to create living beings into whom He could pour His love. He made us for relationship.
He created us to enjoy Him, and so He could enjoy us. He made us to share life with Him, allowing us the privilege of drawing on all that He is.
But it only works when we come close.
Jesus revealed the desire of God’s heart in His passionate prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night of His arrest.
“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:24
Do you see it, dear one? Jesus is after one thing. Togetherness.
He wants us with Him. And He waits for us to return, so that once we are with Him, He may be gracious to us, as He’s always desired to be.
We’ve let the deceiver convince us that God is after so many other things. Our service. Our sacrifice. Our money.
He really just wants us with Him.
For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10
Don’t miss the significance of verse 10, dear one. The promise of salvation isn’t just about living with Him in heaven after we die. It’s offered here, while we live and have not yet fallen asleep.
Let’s give God the desire of His heart, beloved. Let’s live with Him.
Let’s return to Him with our whole hearts and allow Him the great joy of being gracious to us. Nothing gives Him more pleasure.
You’ll discover the same is true for you.