February 22, 2016

Everything is Relative

Devotion for the Week...

Albert Einstein said, "Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That's relativity." I thought of this one day last week when I was having issues with one of the boys I babysit. The non-nap portion of the day seemed like it would never end, while the nap seemed to pass in the blink of an eye. Have you ever had days like that?

In the Bible, Peter tells us, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (2 Peter 3:8). I thought about the verse while trying to get through that day that felt like it was approaching a thousand years. I couldn't help thinking, "Has God ever had what felt like a thousand-year-long day because of my disobedience? Like me with the little guy, I wonder if God ever watches us and thinks something along the lines of, "I have had to discipline her for this so many times. I wish she would just learn the lesson and change her behavior." Does He ever think, "Again? I just dealt with you about that sin." Or maybe there's a little more exasperation in His tone as He thinks, "Just give it up already! You know better than that!"

That's not actually what Peter was talking about, though. In 2 Peter 3:3-7, Peter is talking about the 'last days' when people will make fun of those who believe in God's promise that Jesus would return. These scoffers, as Peter calls them, would claim that ever since the beginning of time, life has gone on as usual, so where is this coming that was promised? Of course, Peter tells us, these people are forgetting God's power and that He is different from men.

Then Peter reminds his readers, and us, "But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day" (v.8). In other words, you might think it's taking a long time for Jesus to come back, or that it has been so long that God has surely forgotten about the promise, but that's not the case at all. Peter is reminding his readers, and us, that, since God is outside of time, time has no meaning for Him and therefore trying to hold Him to some sort of man-made schedule really doesn't work.

Then comes one of my favourite verses in the whole Bible. "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" (v. 9).

God isn't slow. He hasn't forgotten about His promise. He will come back, but He is waiting, not wanting to lose anyone for eternity. There are many, many people who have not yet accepted Jesus as their Savior. Many, many people who, if Jesus comes back now, will perish for eternity. God is being patient, giving those people time to realize how much they need Him.
 
God's patience, and His perfect timing, might look slow to us, but that's only because we're still thinking in terms of time. God is looking at all of eternity, and a thousand years of waiting means nothing to Him when compared to the people who will come to Him in that time.

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