“How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-2)
There have been more times than I care to remember when I could relate to this prayer of David. Yet, my perspective has changed a bit over the years, especially as I consider this issue from the Lord’s vantage point.
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
Our sense of time – our perspective on how long things should take – is clearly very different than God’s perspective.
Think about this. How long did the original human inhabitants of earth live?
- Adam lived 930 years. When he was 130, his son, Seth, was born.
- Seth lived 912 years. When he was 105, his son, Enosh was born.
- Enosh lived 905 years. When he was 90, his son, Kenan was born.
And it goes on and on. The fifth chapter of Genesis is amazing reading.
- Did you know that Noah was 500 years old before he fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth?
For me, understanding that changes my perspective on how long things should take.
The 400 years of the Israelite’s captivity in Egypt, or the more than 400 years during what is often referred to as the “silent” period between the testaments, those were less than half of Adam’s lifetime here on earth.
Comparing Adam’s and Seth’s lifetime to ours, the forty years that the Israelites wandered in the desert was, comparatively, like three years for us. (And, yes, I recognize that it wasn’t Adam and Seth’s generation that wandered in the wilderness. But I’m trying to put the whole issue into a proper perspective. God isn’t being a meanie by making people wait a seemingly very long time for something. In the original design, such things were well within the lifetime of average people. It is merely the effects of living in a sinful world.)
And if that was, in some ways, the original design, then it changes my perspective of how long things should take.
- Suddenly, the eleven years from my graduation from seminary until the time I began doing the ministry that God has me in currently seems less staggering than it did at the time.
- The more than seven years that my wife and I waited and prayed and agonized for our first child to be conceived and born, seems pretty insignificant.
My perspective has changed dramatically as I look at this whole idea of time from God’s vantage point. Is there a chance your perspective should change, too?