When God’s Promises Seem Slow
By: Mandy B. Anderson
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
~2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)
The other night I read this verse and it really hit home for me. In it I saw glimpses of my past, glimpses of the way this very year has played out, and hope for the future.
The author of this verse is the apostle Peter. He is ultimately referring to God’s promise of His son, Jesus Christ, returning to earth. It’s known as the second coming – the day of the Lord. Peter is reminding the church that God’s promises are fulfilled in HIS time.
Beyond the context of this verse though, I can see practical applications of how to live this out in every day life. And that’s where the hope part comes in.
You see, in just four days, I will be turning 35.
This is typically not a big deal for most adults. In fact, sometimes I have those fleeting thoughts of, “Holy crap! When did I get to be this old where I’m in my mid-thirties?!” I even texted my mom about it the other day; it looked something like this:
- Me: Good grief! I’m turning 35!
- Mom: I know! Isn’t it great?!
Her response made me think. That’s when I considered this verse and all that God has done in my life – the promises He has fulfilled in His timing, not mine.
Thirty-five is a big deal for someone whose chances of living past her teenage years were slim.
That was the label that stuck to me because of being born with Cystic Fibrosis. God promised my parents many years ago that I would have a good, long life. He gave my Grandpa visions of me as an adult, healthy and happy. He even promised me not that long ago that all of my dreams would be fulfilled as long as I trusted Him and was okay with His timing. And those promises haven’t come to pass yet; not fully.
Because He is patient with me. He knows that there are things I need to go through so I can repent of the things that hold me back from His promises. In fact, just this year alone I’ve had to look in my heart and let God remold it. I’ve had to let go of some judgments and some hurts. And, I’ve had to realign my focus and let God reshape my mindset all so that I could be ready for the promises that are to come.
You see, my typical expectation of God looks something like this:
God speaks a promise.
I choose to believe it.
I get excited about it.
I expect it to arrive right away the next day.
That’s not how it works though. God is often quick to share His promises and unrushed in His timing of delivering them.
So what should we do when God’s promises seem slow to arrive?
We should slow down and TRUST His Word. His Word says that He is not slow in keeping His promise – so we should believe that. We should remind ourselves that God promised it, so it WILL be…in His timing. And then we should remind ourselves that His timing is best. His timing is will come to pass…no matter what my circumstances look like right now.
Let this be the cry of your heart, dear friend…
Lord, help me to have unrushed expectations, trusting that you are not slow in keeping your promises. You are patient with me.
Mandy B. Anderson is the Co-Founder and CEO of Big Blue Couch® Coaching, LLC. Born with Cystic Fibrosis, Mandy has walked the road of an Overcomer her entire life. She is passionate about helping others rise above their circumstances, be brave, and live beautifully whole. She is the author of the books, In Sickness and In Health: Lessons Learned on the Journey from Cystic Fibrosis to Total Health , Unashamed: Embracing Your Authentic Self in a Cookie Cutter World, and She Who Overcomes. Mandy lives in North Dakota with her husband, Nate, and their fur-baby, Ajah B.