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. 9 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
Hope is the truth in waiting. Obedience is the how in waiting. Faith is the why in waiting.
A day is like a thousand years. I’ve had some days like that. Have you? “Will this day ever end” is usually at the top of my mind and often on my tongue. This passage is a great reminder that my timing is normally (read never) God’s timing. I’ve been thinking recently about this. As a procrastinator by nature part of me takes some comfort in the fact that God may work in the same way by not being in a rush to do today what can be done tomorrow or the day after.
But I then think some more and realize that God’s timing is not about procrastination but something else. My faith. The longer things prolong the more opportunity there is for me, and you too, to grow in our faith. The writer of 2 Peter says that God wants everyone to come to repentance which in its most basic sense means to turn towards God. So every day that we are given the opportunity to wait is a day of hope. Hope for me, my loved ones, and the world.
But what if you can’t wait anymore? What if the circumstance you find yourself in is beyond your ability to bear it? How do we find hope in the kind of day that feels like a 1,000 years times 1,000 years? First, I do believe that God gives us more than we can bear at times…bear alone that is. For those times we need to lean on the people God placed around us. Easier to say than do some times but still true and necessary. Sharing your burden with one other person can help you continue to wait when you are all waited out. Secondly, I have found that staying in the moment and not running ahead to what “may happen” in the future is key to hanging on. Often our greatest fears are not realized but the great anxiety from them takes a huge toll. One way to stay in the moment is to count your blessings. Make a list of things you are thankful for will keep you focused on the reality of today instead of the potentiality of tomorrow. And thirdly, help others. Not only do you receive the benefits of community, you also find constructive ways God can work in your life as you obey his command to love one another. Interesting…Jesus didn’t say to love one another during the good times of life when our bank accounts are flush, our health is good, and our anxiety is low. Rather we are to love even in spite of our circumstances. And obeying God’s word even in the simplest of ways is one manner in which we are able to continue waiting even when our strength wanes.