The open bible for devotion

Devotion – April 2020

Patient Papa God.

I’m going to call it: 2020 is the Year of Growth. At least, in my world anyway. And not the fruitful, picture-perfect, hustle-and-slay, wholesome-family-viewing kind of growth. So far, 2020 is proving herself full of the painful, earthy and hungry kind of growth that leaves me tearfully stumbling around for pen and paper to keep track of the deep work God is doing within me.

A few years ago, in an old journal, I wrote the words, “I will always, always say yes to growth with You, Lord”. Past Talitha sucks. Because 2020, Talitha is tired and time-poor and desperately eager for the things that are fun, easy, light. And this growth is costly and difficult. I do trust Jesus. I know that he has my best interests at heart. A season of pruning, refining etc., etc. But my God, I am tired. Tired of the work.

As a child, I threw some impressive tantrums. When the task became too much: Heads. Would. Roll. I know I tested my parents’ patience time and time again and have a few grey hairs to answer for. But with the strength of God to sustain them, they graciously gave me space when I needed it, a sandwich to curb the hunger, and a hug to remind me I was seen and loved. The cul-de-sac of my childhood heard my performance when riding my bike, sans training wheels, proved too hard. So, my dad put it back in the garage and told me, “You can do it. But we can try again another day”.

The age-old cliché comes to mind. God never gives us more than He knows we can handle. True. Because Papa God has proven himself to be gentle and attentive to my needs. He’s a patient parent. He’s never been offended by my short attention span, my intolerance, my lack of stamina, my imperfection. He hears me when I say, “This is too much”. Sometimes he insists and I am better for it, but often he kneels down and puts his hands on my shoulders and says, “You can do it. But we can try again another day”. And then, in his sweet kindness:

He makes me lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside quiet waters,
He refreshes my soul
Psalm 23:2,3

Papa God takes me to this place where I can catch my breath. He holds me until I’m ready to go again – even if it’s slowly, shakily. And then we try again. Because it’s worth it. Because I trust him. I will always, always say yes to growth with you, Lord.

About the Author

Talitha Eckermann

I’m Talitha. I’m twenty-something with a lot to learn, living in Brisbane and trying to keep too many indoor plants alive. I love people, the beach and singing to my friend, Jesus. By day, I work in primary schools as a youth and family support worker. I’m passionate about drawing near to those on the fringes and extending the reckless, undiscriminating love of Jesus. It’s my desire that these words would speak deeply to hearts about identity and belonging and encourage you deeper into the father-heart of God.

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