I think about it a lot: why isn't God intervening to make the world a less harsh and broiling place? 'Where are you, God? Come on, already.' Another way of putting it: What's taking You so long? And that's not just a question about "the world". It's a question concerning your individual world. As in, when are You going to help me out with this particular problem I'm having?
Our friend Susannah Leighton helped me a few years ago when she opined, quite spontaneously, during an after-church youth-group meeting: "God never seems to come early". I drunk that in! What an insight.
More recently, Mary and I were reading Psalm 103 when we came to verses eight and nine: "The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep His anger for ever."
What I heard from that is that while God's Grace is his predominant characteristic, His righteous indignation -- His Justice -- will also express itself at some point. Even God, in other words, has His limits.
That feels encouraging. So when I ask, 'How long, O Lord?', the answer is, 'At some point'. Not today (apparently), but possibly tomorrow. And certainly at some point.
Remember 2001 A Space Odyssey? Last weekend I made a pilgrimage to the theater in Washington D.C. where it had its world-premiere on April 3rd 1968 -- which is where and when I saw it. (The theater is closed now but the facade is preserved.) Well, there's that moment towards the middle of the movie when scientists on the Moon discover that the 'Monolith', the incarnation of Alien intelligence and control, has been sitting there, in the Crater Clavius, for four million years.
The Aliens apparently take a long view.
So yes, pray with me for some relief, for Heav'n's sake. But human humility requires us to give the timing to God. This podcast is dedicated to Susannah Leighton.
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