“So they put away the foreign gods from among them and served the LORD. And His soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.” (Judges 10:16, NKJV)
Bursting through the dark backdrop of the time of the Judges and Israel’s cyclical rebellion, God’s heart for his people is put on brilliant display. In just one verse, we get a stirring glimpse into the much-needed impatience which God the Father perpetually feels—not toward his children, but toward their suffering.
Like an intricate tapestry, God’s patience and impatience are woven together in the most unusual yet beautiful of unions. While God’s heart is wrought with “patience” toward sinners (2 Pe. 3:9), it is also heavy with “impatience” toward the suffering of his people (Jdg. 10:16, ESV).
Far from being distant, our God is “inwardly moved during our sufferings and trials with a sense and fellow-feeling of them” (John Owen). He knows every tear we cry (Ps. 56:8) and he longs to turn every tear into joy (Ps. 126:5). God simply cannot put up with our suffering forever.
God’s faithfulness is drenched in his empathy. And one day, God’s impatience will become our deliverance — he will wipe away every tear forever (Rev. 21:4), and bring us into a world of undying joy. His soul cannot bear to do otherwise.