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 in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him. 2 Peter 3:9, 13,14 NIV
Whatever God has promised us–we will receive when we obey and stay in position to receive. Sometimes, our own frustration and lack of patience lead us to believe that He is slow–but then His definition of slow or fast–is not ours. After all, according to His Word, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years as a day. So we cannot measure time the way He does.
How do we apply this passage of scripture to our daily lives? Though Peter is primarily talking about the promise of heaven and our looking forward to getting there, we can also look forward–in all aspects of our lives for if we keep looking backwards, there will be no forward movement. This is why we focus on things ahead and forget about those things behind us because we cannot go back in time and change anything.
If we dare to look at the things we have done compared to the preparation of things to come, most of us see that “if” sometimes keeps us from moving forward. Let’s face it, in life, we don’t get “do-overs” as the kids do in games. We cannot stop or pause life and start over. When we recognize the misguided steps we’ve made, we learn from them and keep looking forward, our eyes on the prize or goals we established for ourselves.
How tough is that? For a person who chooses to dwell in the past and sink into the trials of doing so, this is very tough. With Jesus on our side, we are empowered with His strength when our own strength is sapped by pointless regrets. None of us are perfect and most of us have made more than one mistake in our lives, but we don’t have to dwell on the past. We look at what happened, understand why it happened and make every effort to make sure we move forward in God’s Wisdom, not our own–so we don’t repeat those mistakes.
Let’s face it–if we walk backwards–afraid to face the future, we usually end up stumbling over some obstacle or challenge we could not see. And if we’re backing up instead of moving forward, we also demonstrate a lack of trust in God. We have no need to fear the future and every reason to embrace the future–especially when we keep on our armor to fight the battles we know we’ll have.
If we dwell on past events, we lose hope in our future and never plan to have a better ending than the one we already know. Here’s the plan–we take off the blinders that keep us from seeing the bright future God has planned for us, cast off the past as though it was a smelly garment no longer wearable and look forward–to seeing all the great things God has for us.