Don’t let it escape your notice, dear friends, that with the Lord a single day is like a thousand years and a thousand years are like a single day. 9 The Lord isn’t slow to keep his promise, as some think of slowness, but he is patient toward you, not wanting anyone to perish but all to change their hearts and lives. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. On that day the heavens will pass away with a dreadful noise, the elements will be consumed by fire, and the earth and all the works done on it will be exposed. (2 Peter 3:8–10)
Good Day Family,
A Season of Waiting
It is interesting to me that the Apostle Peter would write these words advocating patience. Maybe he was encouraging himself as much as anyone else. Peter, after all, wasn’t known for his patience. Remember some of his impulsive actions—cutting off a man’s ear and walking on water. He did those things without thinking. For most of us, patience isn’t about avoiding impulses but rather waiting on an answer or a change in circumstance. Waiting, in this pandemic season, has been taken to a whole new level.
We waited to gain an understanding of the scope of the virus and how it transmits. We waited on direction from medical and public health officials on how we should cope and adjust our behavior. We have waited on a vaccine, therapeutic, or cure. With vaccines in production, we wait on the distribution process. We wait.
But, waiting is hard. The people of Israel waited for centuries for their Messiah to come. Generation after generation held that hope closely. They waited for the glory of the former days to be restored. They waited to be brought out of exile. They waited for a strong and mighty ruler to elevate their nation.
When Jesus came, they didn’t recognize Him. He didn’t meet their expectations. In their season of waiting, they had built up ideas of what it would look like when the promise was fulfilled. In Peter’s letter, he reminds us that God is not bound by our expectations. God’s timing is different from our own, and God’s vision is most of all for the people of God to change their hearts and lives. In other words, God is far more concerned with our spiritual selves than our material lives.
We will surely be different after this pandemic is conquered, and it will be conquered. Some of the technology we have depended upon will remain part of our everyday routines. I know that I personally will not travel all over the state for denominational meetings as I have done in the past when a video conference will do. Even the Heartland (formerly Ohio) Conference has moved to a digital office and terminated the lease to its physical office. There will be new ways of doing things, but that is the story of human progress. The Pony Express and the original phones of Alexander Graham Bell are found in history books not as part of our daily lives. We are the better for it.
What have we gained during this season of waiting? What can we look forward to unfolding as we wait? Those are Advent questions. Let’s ponder them in our hearts.