Who’s Doing the Waiting?
Oh, how patient we have to be with our God...or do we? Who is doing the waiting? Are we, or is God? While reading 1 Peter the other day, I came to verse 3:20 and it said, “God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat.” How many times in life does it seem like God is taking FOREVER to get us to the finish line of whatever it is we are waiting for? We wonder why He can’t just do it NOW! But are we waiting on God, or is He waiting on us? I think we may have our perspective wrong most times on waiting. God works in our lives while He waits for us to learn important lessons. He also wants an intimate relationship with us. God wants us to know Him well. As we go through many things, our Father, who is in Heaven, wants us to pray and grow. It is a process that’s talked about in 2 Peter 1. It looks like this: Faith produces moral excellence that leads to knowing God better, this leads to self-control which leads to patient endurance. Patient endurance leads to godliness, leading us into love for Christians, and then love for everyone. God’s Word says the more we grow like this, the more we will become productive and useful in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Whew! That’s quite the journey, isn’t it?! And the good Lord above watches over this process, getting us ready to meet Him face to face. And while we are here, we can be more useful in His kingdom work...like building an “ark.” God’s desire is to “open wide the gates of heaven” for us to enter into His eternal Kingdom. (2 Peter 1:11)
It took Noah a long time to build an ark that God could have spoken into being. God was being very patient with Noah. God was probably working things out in Noah’s heart, and in the hearts of his family members. God was also being patient with those who watched Noah build the ark. God so wanted others to turn toward Him and be saved. God waited patiently, as He does for so many of us—long past the time any of us would want to wait. We get tired while waiting for Jesus to return. It seems we have waited so long. But the Bible tells us why Jesus tarries—our Father doesn’t want anyone to perish.
Searching And Noticing the Divine can take us many places. The first place it should always take us is searching in God’s Word, noticing all the things our Father would have us learn before Jesus does come back. We are to take those things out into the world and announce that the “ark” will be needed soon—it’s time to get “on board.” We are to let people know about the “ticket” of salvation through Jesus Christ that will be needed! When it starts to rain down in this world, we don’t want to be left standing on the outside of the safety of our Savior. God has been waiting a very long time for that day! He is being very patient with us—not the other way around.
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 (NIV)