Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:14)
Waiting is hard for most of us. It takes patience. The ticking of the clock (do clocks still tick?) can seem interminable. And, perhaps it is increasingly hard because we are not used to waiting much anymore. With our mobile devices it is easy to distract ourselves from its tedium.
I’ve recently had the opportunity to reflect on waiting…
If current science is correct, the universe was created somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago. Ex nihilo is what some say: “out of nothing.” Correct, in the way it is meant, but the will and Word and action of God are hardly “nothing.”
God spoke into the nothingness. It sounded like a BANG!
And God began to wait.
Created matter cools ands clumps together. Stars form, live, and die. One day a mass of hydrogen ignites and an average yellow star appears—we call it “the Sun.” Matter begins to orbit around this star. Finally, some 9.3 billion years after The Beginning, there was Earth, “without form and void and darkness was over the face of the deep.” 9.3 billion years. Tick, tick, tick… Write down the number 29. Follow it with 16 zeros. That many seconds ticked by between creation of the universe and the formation of Earth. Tick, tick, tick…the waiting seems interminable; God’s patience, unimaginable.
Another 1 billion years of seconds pass; tick, tick, tick…a 3 with 16 zeros. First life appears. Still He waits…
Still another 3.3 billion years tick off; a 1 followed by 17 zeros. Tick, tick, tick…the precursors to Adam and Eve walk Earth. Still He waits…
Again, God speaks, and man and woman appear in the mist of antiquity. Tick, tick, tick…a 4 followed by 17 zeros between BANG! and the appearance of mankind “created in His image and likeness.” Still He waits…
God created us to share in His life and in His love, to “partake of His divine nature.” Write a 4 followed by 17 zeros; that is how many seconds have ticked by since The Beginning. The number is too big to comprehend. Put it another way: only in the last 0.0007% of Time between The Beginning until today has mankind, as icon of God, existed. Tick, tick, tick… 99.9993% of Time God has waited for us. He is not in a hurry.
At 8:15 on the morning of April 16th, 1924, she entered the world. Since The Beginning, each of her days was written in God’s book “when there were yet none of them.” He had plans for her welfare and not for evil, to give her a future and a hope. Then, for 13.8 billion years God awaited her conception. He knew the exact time and place she would arrive into the world. With each tick and tock He thought of her.
Ninety years ago she was conceived and it has been eighty-nine years since her birth. She was intricately formed exactly as He had intended. Eighty-nine years: write a 28 followed by 8 zeros. Tick, tick, tick…each second of her life is precious to God.
The 89 years is drawing to a close. God’s beautiful daughter lies unresponsive: one day, two days, three days, now four…345,600 seconds have ticked by since she last talked….it is we who now wait. And we wonder, “Why do You continue to wait, God?” We plead, “Take her now.” God remains patient, unhurried. He has waited 13.8 billion and 89 years to hold her. When finally He draws her to Him, He will hold her for eternity, seconds without number.
BANG!, said God..it is now 13.8 billion and 89 years later and almost time for the Lover and His beloved to be united face-to-face. For all of eternity. God waits patiently for her; it is we who can’t wait.
Physical death came last night, just six weeks shy of ninety. It has been 13.8 billion and 89 years since God first thought of His most beautiful daughter. Now she has come home to Him.
It is our turn to wait to see her.