But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you.
    He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you.
God takes the time to do everything right—everything.
    Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones. – Isaiah 30:18 (MSG)

I stumbled across this verse in my reading this morning.  I needed to hear it.  I recently came off of a road trip, where I was by myself in the car for about 4 hours on the way there and 4 hours on the return trip.  It gave me time to pray and think.  Hours of prayer and thinking.  Dangerous right?  There was plenty of time for the Lord to lay my soul bare and reveal my sinfulness.  Amazingly though as much as there was conviction for my faults and failures, God was gracious.  With a loving tone I could feel the Lord saying, “I’ve been waiting.”  I knew God was not so much waiting for my confession either;  The Lord was waiting to be merciful and gracious, and that couldn’t happen until we had a long heart-to-heart to that revealed the messes that I’ve made.  I felt a weight had been lifted, and inspired and strengthened to be better, to do better, to be the person of faith that God has made and called me to be.

That’s where this verse breaks in for us today.  God is waiting to show people mercy and grace.  I need it, you need it, we need it.

When was the last time you took a big chunk of time to have a heart-to-heart with the Lord?  I’m not talking about a quick check-in, or short prayer.  While those are good, sometimes we need to have the longer conversation with God.

I invite you and challenge you to take a least an hour or two of uninterrupted prayer and conversation with God in the next 7 days.  Take the time to let God be merciful and gracious to you.  It’s sooooo worth it.  One caveat, it may be harsh to have your sinfulness revealed, but that’s a necessary first step to experiencing God’s mercy and grace.

Prayer:  Lord, continue to reveal my sinfulness to me, remind me that you still love me anyway, and continue to show me even greater mercy and grace.  May your love and grace continue to inspire me to be better, to do better, to be the person you created and called me to be.  Amen.