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
Today's devotion was written by Michael Burger who owns a screen printing and sign company in Davenport, Nebraska. A few years ago I had the opportunity to be a guest at his home. Michael is a layman at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Davenport, where he has been the high school Bible class teacher for 19 years. God has blessed him with a wonderful wife and children.
According to The Guinness Book of World Records, the longest continuously running laboratory experiment is the "pitch drop experiment."
Started in Queensland, Australia, in 1927, the experiment was intended to demonstrate that some substances which appear solid really are slow-moving liquids. Here's how the experiment works: the scientists poured a heated sample of pitch into a sealed funnel and allowed it to settle ... for three years! In 1930 the neck of the funnel was cut to allow the pitch to start flowing.
A glass bell jar was placed over the funnel and the experiment was put on display.
It took eight years for the first drop to form and fall. Since 1930, there has been a total of nine drops. Things slowed down noticeably in the 1980s, when air-conditioning was installed. Now science expects a drip every 12 and a half years. That, my friends, is S-L-O-W.
In our instant communication world, we often become impatient with slowness.
When our online order doesn't arrive within 48 hours, when a video has to be rewound, when someone doesn't return our text within a few minutes, we can become visibly upset. How different it was for Abraham. He was 75 years old when God promised He would make Abraham's descendants into a great nation (see Genesis. 12:1-4).
The years passed, and the promise remained unfulfilled.
It took 25 years before God's promise became more than words. God reiterated His promise when Abraham was 99. Abraham's response was laughter. That's because the patriarch didn't understand God is not bound by our timetable. Well, you know the rest of Abraham's story. You know Sarah become pregnant and gave birth to Isaac and God's promise was kept.
All too often we believers share Abraham's doubts.
When we consider the trials in our lives and terrible events in the world, we wonder when or if God will ever step in and make things right. We can find our answer by listening to St. Peter who said, even though the Lord is patient and wants everyone to repent, the day will come when He will return and expose all that we have done: both the right and the wrong.
This leads me to ask in the interim, what sort of people ought we be? How should we live our lives? The answer is easy: we live as Christians who have been washed in the Lamb's blood.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, thank You for giving us a faith which should learn the rightness of trusting Your timetable and Your plan. While I await Your return, may I be given patience and the ability to sincerely pray, "Thy will be done." This I ask in Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries