But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 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. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring
about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
As we approach the end of this year and look ahead to the new year, this scripture passage reminds me that God tells time differently from us. Time seems to pass quickly – how can a year go by so fast? I can hardly imagine how God does time, when God is able to see in one instant all that time that was as well as all the time that shall be. A day is like a thousand years, or a thousand years like a day.
We can wonder why God is taking so long to answer a prayer, or why something is not done on our timetable. God who sees within each person’s heart, is patient with you and me. God is not ready to write someone off as quickly as we might. God seeks that each person will turn to him and embrace faith, even though God knows all will not make good decisions.
Peter describes the day of the Lord like a thief, because we do not know when that day will come. It will be unexpected; only God knows its timing. We can worry about the threat of nuclear warfare with North Korea, but what Peter describes will be far greater in scale. Therefore, may we be encouraged to turn to the Lord and live in ways that honor him, so that when that day comes, we will not be found lacking in any good thing.
God of all patience and power, you love us and yearn for us to turn to you. How sad to know that not all people will welcome your invitation! Our vision is limited even if yours is not. Our sense of time is limited and far different from yours. Help us use well the time we have been given today, for this we pray in Christ’s name. Amen.