When the psalmist calls you the reader to “give thanks unto the Lord…make known his deeds among the people” (Psalm 105:1), what deeds come to your mind? A. W. Tozer said, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” What comes to your mind? Maybe reading some other passages might bring some new thoughts to mind.
Elijah could easily be transfixed by the dramatic power of God, but that was not what God really wanted Elijah to think about. This is why God was not in the other elements, but the still, small voice. God asked Elijah, “What doest thou here?” Elijah said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord God of hosts: for the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away” (1 Kings 19:10). God patiently attempts to teach Elijah of the subtle ways of God which may beyond the perception of the average person. Then God asks Elijah again, “What doest thou here?” This was the gentle hint that the second answer should be different from the first, but it wasn’t. Elijah gave the same answer to which God sent him to anoint his replacement. The final words from God to Elijah were, “Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him” (1 Kings 19:18).
The thing Elijah needed to dwell upon—the deeds of the Lord which would have carried him through his difficult time—was the patience of God. Elijah had allowed his patience to wear thin, but God had extended tremendous patience to him and all of Israel. Sometimes the “wonderful works” of God are not dramatic power but steady patience.
It may not seem like much, but isn’t it a marvelous thing to know how patient God is with you? In many ways, it is one of his meritorious deeds. Although we may not appreciate the divine virtue of patience, we definitely appreciate the opportunity it gives us to repent and return to God. The persecution Paul suffered broke his heart because he was once much like his persecutors, yet he knew the tender patience of God. When Christ appeared to him on the road to Damascus, it was a stroke of grace made possible by patience which allowed Paul to repent.
Even Daniel recognized the powerful patience of God even while he was a captive in Babylon. For those who choose to “keep his laws,” God would “satisfy them with the bread of heaven” (Psalm 105:45, 40). He didn’t need the king’s meat. He would find the patient provision of God sufficient.
Throughout Scripture, we see the steady hand of God and this is truly one of the marvelous works of our God. His patience in your life is a signature of his grace. Be careful to not overlook the inconspicuous deeds of God in your own life. It will transform your service to Him and your relationships with others.