The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love. (Ps. 145:8)
It’s impossible to know how many swings of that bat I had taken. I can’t even venture a guess as to how many pitches had been thrown. By now, the creaking sway of the backstop chain fence had become like white noise. Yet through it all, Coach Evans did not give up on me. He knew that, with enough practice, I could elevate my hitting game enough to contribute to the team. “Swing it again,” he said, gently but firmly. Wiping the sweat from my eyes and the dirt from my gloves, I kept swinging.
Most skills worth learning require practice, and practice comes most effectively when under the tutelage of a good teacher. One of the most important attributes of good teaching is patience. Patience is required so that a teacher can bear with the mistakes and missteps of her students. It’s no secret to believers that God is patient with us as we mature in our faith. We learn to trust him like a toddler taking steps or a poor hitter learning to hit a baseball.
Patience is powerful. God shows us his patience in the form of compassion. He is slow to anger, rich in love, and good to all (vv. 8–9). His encouragement sticks to us because of his compassion, which enables us to persist through life’s challenges by trusting in his grace.
Remember that God is patient and full of compassion for his creation.
Chris McFadden is a doctoral student at Wesley Seminary and an ordained minister, serving Lakin Wesleyan Church in Kansas. He is married to Suzanne and has two beautiful daughters.
© 2021 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.