Thursday, April 5, 2007

Thank God He Waits!

Today is Good Friday. Since starting this blog, I've been thinking a lot about waiting and patience. To us, those are usually negative terms. Or at least, painful ones. But as I think about the passion of Christ, of God's plan for our salvation and his incredible patience in his dealings with us, those terms take on a beautiful new meaning.

In God's plan, timing is everything. The Bible says that "when the appropriate time had come, God sent out his Son, born of a woman..." (Gal. 4:4). I remember hearing an entire sermon about that once--about all the historical and political events that had slowly come together to make the timing of Jesus's birth and ministry perfect.

We are impatient, microwave-generation people. But I truly thank God that He is not in such a hurry. That He's willing to wait for me. For all of us. We are told that the Lord isn't slow in fulfilling his promises to us, but he is being patient, because He wants everyone to have time to repent and be saved. (2 Peter 3:8-9).

Sometimes I read books by Hugh Ross, a fascinating man who is both an astrophysicist and an evangelical pastor. His writing is often over my English-major head, but he does leave me with a feeling of awe and wonder. He helps me see how much bigger God is than this tiny, finite world. In one of his books, Beyond the Cosmos, he posits that God has access to many more dimensions of space and time than we three-dimensional humans. Since Jesus was both man and God, Ross speculates how much greater and longer His suffering on the cross may have seemed or been--far beyond a few hours on that terrible Friday. Again, all this is beyond me, but I was left with more gratitude at the idea of how vast Christ's suffering was for me.

So God's willingness to wait is a very good thing. Hope you don't mind more Scripture-quoting, but I have to close with some wonderful verses:

But, according to his promise, we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth,
in which righteousness truly resides. Therefore, since you are waiting for these
things, strive to be found at peace, without spot or blemish, when you come into his presence. And regard the patience of our Lord as salvation... (2 Peter