For those of us who were built with the importance of manners...
* If you borrow something, send it back in better shape than it was in when you obtained it.
* Don't wear out your welcome.
* Don't burn bridges (speaking of friends, not real bridges).
This makes it difficult for us to understand the compassion of our God. Sometimes it seems like I have worn out the relationship. For example, how many times do I totally screw up by gossiping, over spending (greed), or total glutinous behavior? After asking for forgiveness, believing I have recieved it...but falling back into the same behavior, I feel like it's ridicoulous to ask for forgiveness again. It's simply not good manners. I THINK God will tire of my refusal to learn, that He will be angry with me (rightly so), and that He will build a boundary not allowing me back in.
On the contrary, our God is much bigger than that. He knows us...he created us with our own will. I think my strong willed personality is enough to push many away...why not God, too. Yet, Nehemiah ch 9 illustrates a God that continues to love us in good times and in bad times. He allows us to venture off, create our own mistakes, and find our need for Him. He's always there, waiting again and again, when we come back with a repentant heart. I am soooo thankful for the undying love He shows us in this chapter of Nehemiah.
Nehemiah 9: 28 “But as soon as they were at rest, they again did what was evil in your sight. Then you abandoned them to the hand of their enemies so that they ruled over them. And when they cried out to you again, you heard from heaven, and in your compassion you delivered them time after time. (NIV)
..... time after time...after time... after time... What an awesome God!