“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)
My dad used to keep us waiting until the last moment. It was so frustrating. I’d be standing in the hallway, clutching my school satchel and sighing loudly. I just couldn’t imagine what was keeping him so long!
Maybe something of that was going on here as the early Christians tried to figure out why Jesus wasn’t returning as He had promised. So Peter gives both explanation and encouragement.
First, Peter explains that while God works within time, his eternal mind does not think as we do in terms of 24 hour days, 7 day weeks, or 12 month years. It’s silly to think He would, isn’t it, when you think about it?
So God is not slow; he exists in an eternal time frame. He has a different way of seeing time.
Second, Peter encourages the believers by reminding them of what God is like. The phrase “as some understand slowness” tells it all. What I might think of as a frustrating “slowness” is really a gracious patience. He is providing opportunity for all his children “to come to repentance.” He wants to make absolutely sure that all are safely gathered in before the door of opportunity finally and forever clicks shut.
God’s patience is a demonstration of his love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and salvation. He can be trusted…all the way home.
Father, thank you for waiting on me to come to repentance. Thank you for your promise to bring all your children safely home. Thank you for your patience. Thank you for your mercy and grace.