God is outside of time. He has no time constraints. Peter says, “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 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 3:8-9 ESV)
We, of the instant gratification era, struggle to relate to this aspect of God. When God gives us a promise, we expect its fulfilment to be immediate. Perhaps the accounts of Jesus healing people that we read in the Bible further confuse us. There are phrases like, “immediately” or “at that same hour.”
I am sure we can all testify to healing that has taken place in answer to prayer but it took time, perhaps even years. Even we, as short-sighted as we are, understand that certain things take time. It takes time for the promise encased in an acorn to reach the fulfilment of an oak tree big enough to climb. It takes time for a good wine to be aged to the right state of maturity. The best artists and crafters know that it takes time to make a masterpiece.
In the first week of November last year, I slammed my finger in the car door. It is now much better, although not back to normal yet. At the top a semicircle of nail has pulled away from the nail bed. It made my nail look very long. When I trimmed it, I realized my mistake almost immediately. The skin below where the nail should have been was super sensitive. I even contemplated making a nail of plastic and sellotape just to protect it from touching or bumping anything. In the end I settled for cotton wool and a plaster. So I allowed it to grow again. Recently I noticed a ridge at the bottom of my nail and in the last couple of weeks it has crept upwards. It is a new nail growing on top or maybe underneath the old one. I am amazed. How does the bottom of my nail know that the top half is damaged? It is a miracle. It’s still little but it is a promise of a new nail.
The best response to a promise from God is thanksgiving, even if the fulfilment of the promise is not yet.
Father God, thank you for the new nail that is growing. I praise You that I am so fearfully and wonderfully made that my body just knows when extra protection is needed. Thank You for Your promises, found in the Bible. Please give me the eyes of faith to see their fulfilment and thank you. Amen.