God can wait

I was thinking about writing something about waiting ('tis the season) and I came across this entry from three years ago. It's perfect for what I've been thinking recently:

My days are like an evening shadow;
I wither away like grass.

But you, O LORD, are enthroned for ever;
your name endures to all generations.

Long ago you laid the foundation of the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you endure;
they will all wear out like a garment.
You change them like clothing, and they pass away;
but you art the same, and your years have no end.
(Ps 102.11-12,25-27)

The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands for ever,
the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
(Ps 33.10-11)

God is not threatened. His intentions and purpose are not in jeopardy. He does not fear the possibility of things spinning out of control, or falling apart, or someone taking the reins from him. He is God.

So he can wait. He can wait for us because he is not threatened by us, by our denials and rebellion, by our boasts and attempts to escape him. We cannot escape his truth. Or thwart his will. We can only thwart ourselves, and if we continue this to the end then we will simply pass away and be gone.

I need to be more consciously aware of this, and trust it more fully. I know when I lose patience with people and run away, or strike out in anger, I'm feeling threatened. I'm panicking. I'm afraid that my plans are falling apart, or I'm getting trapped, or evil is winning. I can't wait well when I don't trust well.

At those moments I very much feel my own vulnerability. My days are like an evening shadow...

I need also to feel But you, O LORD, are enthroned for ever.

I think I may be doing a little better at this now, three years later. Even in a more difficult situation. But the basic call to "wait as God waits" is still a good one that I need to be reminded of.

Maybe I'd just add that often God's waiting is an act of mercy for those involved, giving them more time to understand, and change. And then sometimes I think the waiting may already be part of God's response (we just don't see it yet), letting the wrongdoing get deeper and clearer and the consequences build and build. Until the truth is inescapable, and justice inevitable.