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 NIV
This Spring, the church Trustees inspected the property and came up with a list of little maintenance projects we could do ourselves, including some touch-up painting. We began by assembling the items we needed; scrapers, sandpaper, power washer, primer, and paint and set a start date. Admittedly at first, I was excited, the image in my mind jumping ahead to the finished product. But as the loose paint was removed and sanding completed, the walls began to look sad for a few weeks sitting there with patches of barren wood while we found time to primer and paint. I confess, during that time, though I wanted it done correctly, I grew impatient for the task to be completed.
Like with the painting, sometimes, as we wait for God to answer, we grow impatient. We think of the answer in terms of our expectations, both in timing and how it should happen. We want the walls scraped, primed, and painted to perfection in one day. Scripture tells us this isn't God's approach, though; he takes the long view. He looks at how the answer best benefits us all, looking at all those things we may not have considered. Where we see only the immediate and the exterior–like the chipped and peeling paint, God sees everything in its entirety–including those rotten boards that need to be replaced.
God, we give you thanks for your patience. We confess that we often act with rashness and reckless impulse, but that is not you. In your slowness, you look at what is best for us all. When we mess up, you do not respond with quick retribution but give us time to repent. Your slowness is not slowness at all but your grace extended to us. Please help us to accept, understand, and give thanks for your precious gifts. Amen.