The twelve days of fireworks

Some of our neighbors began celebrating the Fourth of July several evenings ago with a few small explosions. Every night. Maybe it is their way of spreading out the season, like a “twelve days of fireworks.” They always go off before twilight, but who can blame them…it takes a long time to get dark these long summer nights. Teal lingers in the sky.

Do you ever feel that way about your Christian life? Sometimes God seems to take forever. He certainly started the celebration of new life many, many years ago…and the world is still anticipating a new world. But it has been a long wait, and many have given it up.

Peter speaks to that in 2 Peter 3:

Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water.”

Sounds like people denying that God exists, that He’s involved, and that there is more to life after death. Sounds a lot like modern culture. Some things do not change. But it has been a long time…this is what Peter says: God’s word is holding the world together to be destroyed by fire. He is here, and He is powerful.

 But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”

God is so patient! I can wait ten minutes for someone and be impatient. God has been waiting thousands of years to draw people to Himself. That is a comfort – we all need that. But His patience will not last forever.

11 Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning, and the elements will melt with intense heat! 13 But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”

If we know the end of the story, if we know the big firework display is coming soon, if we know what rewards are coming, then we can’t let ourselves get distracted from God’s path. We have something better that we are looking to, better than the plastic, breakable, bleach-able, tearing, scratched things of this world. And God will help us learn patience.

God, You know I need patience. I tap my foot, plan three steps ahead, and get frustrated when things happen to my plan. Thank You for being patient with me, and helping me to see this area. Please help me to look to Your new earth, and live in expectation of what You are bringing, more dazzling than all the fireworks. Amen.

 

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