By D’Ann Davis
“The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9 (NASB)
Timing. God has perfect timing. The persecuted church in the first century might have struggled with this statement from Peter. Amidst struggle, death, tribulation, and pain, these believers knew the angst of waiting for Christ’s return in a way few American Christians do. Our perspective can be so limited that we read this verse and think it applies to whatever transient circumstance change we are awaiting that will elicit resolution and end discomfort. Our lives are so privileged that we miss the meaning of this text at times, that Jesus is coming back, and He will come back when the time is perfect.
Those in Peter’s day looked for Jesus’ return with great anticipation. Times were hard, and Christ was the only hope. A delayed return might have seemed to evidence an apathy or disinterest from the Father. Peter wanted them and us to know that God was not delaying out of slowness or ineptitude. He was (and is still) delaying that more might come to repentance. When Jesus returns and we face the final judgment, there is no more chance for repentance, no other shot at redemption. There are still people left whom Jesus will save, and because He is patient, He is kind to wait until those come to Him.
In His waiting, He is not slow. The Lord is perfect and patient, and He is always true to His word. In our waiting we can take heart. Our waiting is not in vain. He will stay true to His promises and promptly return when the time is right. Let us hope in Him and trust His hand, and in the meantime, let’s share this hope with all we know, that we might see them welcomed into the kingdom with us.