“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 3:9.
It’s a glorious fall day in the mountains…radiant shades of yellow, red and orange cover the landscape with a blanket of autumn loveliness. The days are warm, the evenings delightfully chilly. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…at least I think so! As I drink in the beauty of this new season, I’m reminded of my own life and of this season in which I find myself. God is doing such a deep work in me. Renewing my mind and teaching me about Himself. Helping me to find my identity in Him. I’m learning about gospel grace and the place it has in my daily life. To see others with eyes of grace, instead of with eyes of judgment. It’s a beautiful change…in a sometimes pleasant, sometimes painful way.
But like the changing of the seasons, transformation takes time. Growing is a process. And sometimes I get impatient with that process. I want to be so much farther down the road to Christlikeness than I am. I want to be a gracious woman, consistent in trusting God, not so easily “knocked off my feet” by shifting emotions. I long to be firmly grounded in truth, to have all the answers to my many questions. I want to be “grown up” – now!
But oh, how patient my God is. And how not impatient He is. Like a daddy watching his child learn to walk, He rejoices with each step I take and gently picks me up every single time I fall. He doesn’t get angry with me for stumbling. He just scoops me up and sets me on my feet again and continues to lovingly teach and train me.
He is, after all, the One doing the work in me. The One bringing about growth and maturity. (“For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose” Philippians 2:13.) As 2 Peter 3:9 (above) proclaims, God is not in a hurry. He is patiently waiting until just the right time to send His Son back to earth. He’s giving more time for sinners to turn to Him. In a similar way, He is patient with His children as He works in us, renewing our minds and transforming us from the inside out (Romans 12:2).
This has been so freeing for me to understand. It’s not up to me (nor am I able) to fix myself – or others! I can rest in the awareness that God is working – at His own pace, and in His own way. My “job” is to abide in Him, to let His Word abide in me (John 15), and to let Him live through me (Galatians 2:20).