“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 NIV)
Have you seen the movie “Zootopia“ where the ssslllloooowww sloth who works at the DMV is making a license for the hurried rabbit? That makes me laugh, but I admit I can feel like Officer Judy did when the sloth was so slow at work. Did you become all jittery, make your foot tap with impatience and frustration, make you want to shout at the cute creature on the screen, “Come on! Get on with what you’re doing! Hurry up! I’m going to go crazy if you don’t finish what you’re doing NOW!”
Have you ever thought or said those same things to others, or even God, when things aren’t going quick enough for you, especially when it’s something you so much want to be over? Even though I may appear to be patient on the outside with particular situations, I often internally feel impatient and get an attitude when it comes to wanting to hear something, see something or know something RIGHT NOW! We live in an instant, here and NOW culture. I want this and I want it NOW.
And of course, it’s not the way God’s timeline works.
In times of waiting for refinement to complete, it’s easy to forget that God’s clock and calendar are quite different from mine and yours. My perceptive of slowness isn’t the same as God’s, and when I’m in a season where my physical and/or spiritual life feels stagnant, lifeless, confusing or painful, that slowness feels REALLY slow.
I also find it easy to forget that the reason we must wait us sometimes because God still has work to do on OTHER people and circumstances before yours can be completed too. I’m reminded of the lines to a song that talks about being in a valley instead of a mountaintop season of life and how being in the valley is like the long Saturday between the Friday Jesus died and the Sunday he arose.
“It was a long Saturday in between Your death and the rising day, when all around the world wondering if this is the end. But You were down there in the well, saving those that fell, bringing them to the mountain again.”
He is patient for those who are rebellious, stubborn, and defiant. He’s patient with those who are agitated, frustrated and everything but patient because He knows the outcome and all that needs to happen before the chapter ends and a new one begins. He’s patient while you and I are in a furnace or in a pan (like eggs as Susan explained week before last) because He knows it must happen before we can be more of who He created us to be – pure and holy with Him.
His timing might seem slow to us, but it’s perfect.