"The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9
Boy, it sure seems like God is slow sometimes, doesn't it! To us, to our earthly ways of thinking, everything revolves around time. Everything! We are slave to a clock most of the time, and that's one thing that most weeks, I try really hard to not be. There are, of course, exceptions. Andy has to be at work at a certain time. Swim Lessons and Dance Classes have a start time. Church has a start time, and we all have to yield to those, but what about everything else in between? I've really been trying really hard to just let my days happen without focusing on time. Do you know how hard that is sometimes? The clock says it's noon, so it must be lunch time. That one in particular, we've been trying to make much more flexible. Are we actually hungry? No? Then we wait until our bodies tell us it's lunch time. What time do we get up in the morning? We wake when our eyes open up and see light, and we feel refreshed. Some days that's before seven in the morning. But some days it's closer to 8:30. Did you know our bodies are designed to be awake when it's light out and not be a slave to a clock?
I love reading this verse and seeing the reminder that God is not slow on his promises. It was last summer at this time that Andy and I made the big decision to move our family. We were certain the idea came from God, and at that point, we had to trust Him and then we had to wait. It sure seemed like God was awfully slow in providing the place for us to move to. In human time, we waited for nine months- that's as long as it takes a baby to develop and be born! Yet in God's eyes, He was not slow at all, His timing was, in fact, perfect. God's timing is always perfect. To us, He seems slow, and sometimes in my mind, I think about how God doesn't see the clocks and the calendars we see, and that can be frustrating to me, but then I know that He knows all, and He will meet our needs when we need them met. And He does every single time.
In particular though, this verse today is discussing God's promise to send Jesus back to earth to gather up His followers. It sure seems as if God's been slow on that one, doesn't it! This is an event that has been waited on for thousands of years! Yet to God, time is nothing. He does not measure time the same way we do. This is good news for us- and for all of mankind. Because what God is waiting for is for every single person on earth to have the opportunity to know Him and to choose to spend eternity with Him. He loves man so much that He is that patient. He will wait for the perfect moment- for the moment when every single person on the planet has heard the Good News and has had the opportunity to make the choice to love God. That's what He is waiting for.
I think of all the books and movies and stories I've read over the years about how the "end times" is going to be so horrible and terrible for everyone, and I just can't help but think that most of those are completely wrong in their assessment. If the moment when Jesus returns is dependant on every soul being able to make that choice, it seems to me that the "end times" will have to involve one heck of a global revival in order to make that possible. I think that instead of great evil overtaking the earth, as it's been talked about for years, that there will be a time of great light and joy overtaking the earth. I think we are going to be having one huge Jesus party here on the earth and then God's going to look down and say "Okay, Son, they're ready. Go get 'em." That's what God's waiting for. He's waiting for our hearts to be synched up with His.
God is patient. He isn't slow, and He isn't bound by the clock or the calendar. But He sure does hold to His promises. And you can be sure that when God tells you to do something, He will provide whatever you need to do that something. Whether that be finances, material goods, or even a boost in your spirit to help you tackle a challenge- God provides. It's just that we see things on our human level- boxed in by time and calendar, and we sometimes can let that get to us. Don't. Instead of focusing on those deadlines, focus on Him. Thank Him for His provision before He even provides it- God loves it when we do that.