The Lord is patient. Are we?


 

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But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:8-9


We frail humans lack a great many powers and perspectives that our Creator has. In our own strength, we cannot heal or resurrect one another. We cannot create massive universes with a word. We cannot walk on water or multiply bread or turn water into wine. And our perspective of time is extremely limited. In our day-to-day lives, it is likely that it is this limitation that causes the most frustration. Our entire day is based on time, schedules and waiting on what we want. Much of our mood is swayed by what has or has not yet come to pass.

Of all the things that he could write to encourage his brothers and sister in Christ, Peter chooses to remind us of our limited perspective on time. He wants us to know that as powerless as we are against the sands of time, there is One who is neither powerless or against time. Our heavenly Father uses time in our favor. When challenges seem to wane on for ages, it is because He has a purpose that is for our sanctification and His glory.

When we are struggling in a wait, whether it’s a wait for a spouse, a job, a pregnancy, or a healing, God is using our wait to mold us and make us more like Him. As Peter writes, when we think we are being forced to be patient with Him, the reality is that He is being patient with us as we mature in our faith. The Lord is never slow to answer His children. He always answers us in perfect timing. It is our impatience and lack of faith in Him that makes the time drag on. We don’t trust Him to do what is best for us so we get stuck living in a slow motion life full of anxiety, angst, and suffering.

Right now, I am very familiar with the sensation of the day feeling like a thousand years. At nine months pregnant, every moment of my life is filled with discomfort and desperation for this baby to just come out already. Anyone who has been pregnant knows that most months are about 30 days long, except for the last month of a pregnancy which truly feels like a 1,000 days. But to my baby, each day he can grow and mature for the outside world carries much more value to him than the day holds for me. So while I am begging and pleading for an early deliverance from my discomfort, my child might very well be needing each and every never-ending day of it. And I don’t know and cannot see that. Only my Lord knows what is best for me and my child. I can choose to either trust in His timing or I can complain day in and day out about how long it’s taking for His timing to come about. More often than not, I choose to complain and I know for a fact that it makes my day seem even longer than the ones in which I focus on trusting the Lord.

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But there are also days that we wish would last much longer than they do. As a goal-oriented person, I have had my fair share of these as well. I get frustrated that I haven’t been able to accomplish what I set out to do in a day and angry with God that I haven’t been able to meet my goals and make my plans happen. Instead of trusting that the Lord’s plans will accomplish far more than mine ever will, I panic that what I think needs to happen won’t happen because I didn’t have enough time to make it happen. I have to laugh as I write this because the level of control I think I have over things is just so ridiculous sometimes. But we all do this. We all panic when things don’t go according to plan and we forget that our plan is a joke anyway.

Maybe God is gracious enough to think that it’s kind of cute when we try to mimic Him by making plans, but I’m confident He doesn’t find it endearing when we freak out when His plans override ours. His timing is perfect because He sees the needs that we are so unaware of. When our day ends before our plans have been accomplished, we should recognize that God has a different plan instead of panicking over our failure and lack of control. When our day drags on and on and we feel like our suffering will never end, we should recognize that God is working something out in us and for us that will make these endless days feel oh-so-worth it and the days we hated will become the days we praise Him for. It’s hard to see it now, but it’s true. Trust in the Lord’s love for you and give thanks for His patience.

 

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