Connections 12.06.2020: The Waiting Time

2 Peter 3:8-18

Do you like roller coasters? I confess that I liked them better when I was a younger woman. After the most recent time I rode one, it took me a couple of hours to recover from motion sickness. Yes, I’m in my forties now, and roller coasters just aren’t the same.

Still, there’s something exciting about this type of ride. When my family went to Universal Studios in 2019, we decided to ride the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit. We waited in line for about 30 minutes, our anticipation building to a point where we weren’t even afraid anymore—we just wanted to ride. Our turn came and we climbed into a roller coaster car at the loading dock. Then we waited again, this time so that other people could get on. As our car began its vertical ascent into the sky, our sense of expectation grew, increasing our heartrates and sending us into fits of nervous giggles. Finally, after what seemed like a very long wait, our car plunged over the edge and went flying down the hill, rock and roll music blasting in our ears as we sped through the twists, turns, and corkscrews. It was exhilarating!

When I read today’s passage from 2 Peter, I kind of felt like I was sitting in that roller coaster car on the loading dock. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. Wishing the other people would hurry up and climb aboard so we could get on with our journey. Feeling full of anticipation and nerves as I looked to what lay ahead. Eagerly awaiting the sense of fulfillment I knew would come once we finished our ride.

Look at all the words related to time in this passage: years, slow, slowness, patient, waiting for, hastening, wait, patience, grow. Those of us who have followed Jesus for a long time probably feel like we’re sitting in the roller coaster and waiting for it to go. How much longer? How much more time must pass before we see Christ face to face in the ultimate fulfillment of God’s glory?

But the writer makes a great point. We don’t want anyone to miss out. We will wait as long as it takes. We will be grateful for God’s patience. And we will use our waiting time to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Pet 3:18). Maybe, if we strive to live this way, a thousand years will be like one day for us too!

Discussion

  • What are some memorable times when you had to wait for something?
  • When has your long wait been worth it in the end?
  • What do you think God’s sense of time is like? How can we, as finite human beings, appreciate God’s infinite view of time?
  • Why is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s glory in Jesus Christ worth waiting for?
  • What can you commit to do in the meantime as you wait?

Kelley Land, a graduate of Mercer University, has been an assistant editor of Smyth & Helwys curriculum and books since 2001. In addition to this work, she is a freelance editor for other publishers and authors. She also regularly volunteers for Jay’s HOPE, a nonprofit serving families of children with cancer. Kelley enjoys spending time with her teenage daughters, Samantha and Natalie, and her husband John. Occasionally, she appears onstage in community theater productions and can sometimes be found playing board games with a group of rowdy friends. She loves Marvel movies, Harry Potter, and Doctor Who, and she’s still trying to write a young adult novel that her girls will enjoy.

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