Darkness fell on the thick foliage of Germany’s Black Forest. In the heart of the dense underbrush, gruff voices could be heard. The orange glow of torches could be seen from a distance. Clearly, there was some clandestine activity taking place.

A band of men had gathered to hold a private auction. They were stagecoach robbers. Each item they had stolen would be bartered for until the highest bidder claimed it. The auction continued until all the stolen goods had been claimed, save one: a Bible. At first glance, the robbers ridiculed and scorned the Book. Then one of the men dared another to read from its pages.

The hardened man accepted the challenge and opened the Bible. But as he began to read, something strange happened: his finger fell on the last verse his mother had read to him before he ran away from home. After the reading, the other men shared a collective laugh, but he sat there in silence. The Word convicted him so deeply that he went into the city and turned himself in. In prison, the man kept reading that Bible. It led him to trust Christ as his Savior and change his ways so that he was granted an early release.

Later, the other robbers were caught and executed. But the Word of God had spared this man’s life, and transformed him into a model citizen. He became a better father for his children and a better husband for his wife. The Word works.

Have you ever thought about how patient God is with us? Think about your own conversion experience. At any time, God could have said, “Forget the whole thing. This person will never come around.” But God patiently waited, all the while drawing you to Himself. Do you think you should be any less patient with unbelievers or immature believers as you wait for them to be saved or begin serving Christ?

We must allow the Word of God time to work in our lives and in the lives of others. Never forget we serve a longsuffering God Who is not willing that any should perish. Let’s keep this in mind before we give up on a “slow learner”.

He who waits on God never waits too long. — Chuck Wagner

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.