By Kathryn Schmidt, adjunct professor of music at Goshen College
Reprinted from Advent Devotions
Sometimes I’d be willing to let it all go, in a flash of lightning, in a fiery tidal wave. Like on those days when the dishwasher is backed up, the tub too, when the car repair person quotes us a four digit number, when the kids are grumpy, when we’re all tired. There are days in our house when nobody is behaving in a “holy and godly” way, and we’re not remotely close to being “spotless and blameless.” Yikes.
“OK, GOD! DO YOUR THING!”
Wait . . . then there would be no more bear hugs, no more naps, no more concerts, no more snow days, no more storytime, no more popcorn parties. No more campfires, no more morning coffee. All of it, gone.
“Wait . . . I changed my mind! I take it back! I still want it, all of it!” But it isn’t my choice. I may only receive it – this life – as long as it is offered to me.
But God is patient. God takes my rants, my ungrateful heart and my fist-shaking because, let’s face it, my spiritual journey is less of a graceful dance and more of a wrestling match. God lets me live a beautiful life, even when my heart isn’t, because God is patient.
I’ll close with some words from a lovely and insightful song, written by Goshen College student Monica Miller. She sang if for me recently and I almost wept; it’s so relevant for this tricky passage.
“You are Lord of the changes that break my life; You are Lord of the changes that make my life; You are Lord of the changes that take my life away.
But it’s not mine, it’s Yours.”
SCRIPTURE: 2 Peter 3:8-15a (NRSV)
But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.
Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
Final Exhortation and Doxology
Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given to him.