The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9
The word “patient” (or patience) is a word that shows up in several places in the English translations of the New Testament. Most notably, patience is one of the fruits of the spirit in Galatians 5:22. But there are two words in the New Testament that both get translated “patience.” The first deals with human patience (εἰρήνη), and the other deals with divine patience. Todays passage contains the latter.
The Greek word is μακροθυμεῖ is in the passage for today (see also Rom 2:4, 2 Cor 6:6, Jam 5:10, 1 Pet 3:30, just to name a few). It means divinely directed patience (a.k.a. long-suffering and forbearing). It also has a Hebrew sister that is actually a word pair אַפּ֑וֹ הֶאֱרִ֣יךְ translated “slow to anger.” It provides the image of a God who is waiting for us to get our act together and return home!
But notice this passage from Peter also contains another phrase that uses the word “slow” (βραδύνει). But slow in that sentence is accompanied by descriptive word “not” (οὐ). This means that God is not slow but actually is quick and at the ready to fulfill his promise of restoration once we turn toward home.
What good news! The LORD is waiting patiently for us to turn back to him with a change of our heart. And when we do, God is ready, willing, and able to run quickly toward us to provide the promise of what it means to live in intimate relationship with the divine.
Now something tells me I heard a story about that? Oh yea…from Jesus!
Finally, all of this reminds me of The Rolling Stones song title; Time is On My Side. It sounds to me like the Creator of time is on my side!