Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (Rom 2:4)
“Meant to lead you.” Think about that phrase…
Curves in the road are “meant to lead you” along a safe route. The college syllabus is “meant to lead you” to academic success. The instruction manual is “meant to lead you” through the safe assembly of your new gas grill. The warning light on your car’s dashboard is “meant to lead you” to address whatever is wearing out or breaking down so you can avoid ending up on the side of the road, or something much worse.
“Meant to lead you.” With that basic principle in mind, take a moment to meditate on the abundant expressions of “God’s kindness and forbearance and patience” surrounding you today. Open your eyes to the wealth of those riches in the beauty of Creation … the health of your body … the relationships you’ve formed … the freedoms you exercise … the luxuries you enjoy … the time you’ve been given.
And as you meditate on “the riches of God’s kindness and forbearance and patience,” take a moment to ask: where is the Giver of these gifts seeking to lead me? Romans 1 and 2 reveal two possible answers: thankful honor and humble repentance.
- We’ve been created to honor God and give thanks to him. (Rom 1:20-21)
- When we’ve failed to do so, God’s intense desire is that we would repent. (Rom 2:4)
And what does our Creator provide, moment-by-moment, hour-by-hour, day-by-day, to remind us of these realities? Expressions of his kindness, forbearance, and patience. Today, don’t miss the Holy Spirit’s reminder of the intention behind these gifts–the rising of the sun, the falling of the rain, the fertility of the soil, the turning of the seasons, the very upholding of his universe. These good gifts are “meant to lead” us. They are signs, and there’s nothing wrong with appreciating, studying, and enjoying signs, as long as we follow their lead. Otherwise, we’ve missed the point of the signs altogether.
So let’s enjoy the amazing fruit of God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience today. We are swimming in an ocean of grace, immersed in an immeasurable world of blessings. But this moment is a great moment to resolve: I will not zoom by the signs so fast that I miss their messages.
Don’t presume on the gifts. Don’t take the Giver for granted. Honor him. Take the time to thank him. And when he tells you to bend, or yield, or turn around altogether, humbly realize it’s for your own good. His gracious kindness and patience is “meant to lead us” in the path of abundant life and everlasting joy. We ignore him, his signs, and his guardrails to our own peril.