We say God’s more patient than we are. It’s frustrating, but we’ve all wrestled with it. All of us. In Genesis, God promised Adam and Eve a child, born of a woman, who would crush the head of the serpent. When she looks at her firstborn in her arms, Cain, Genesis 4:1 says “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord”, but really it reads “I have gotten a man, the Lord.” She thinks Cain is the messiah. God seemed a few thousand years more patient. He finally shows up. Jesus. He dies. Rises. Ascends promising to come back soon. The apostle’s are convinced they’ll see it. Seems like God’s been a couple thousand years more patient.
We pray. We beg and plead according to God’s promise to hear and answer. We tell each other God’s more patient. I’m guilty of it too. It’s maddening. Because true patience doesn’t come from fixating on what you want and being told to be patient like God. Thinking about food right before dinner doesn’t make you want to eat less. But that’s what we do, all the while wondering what’s taking Him so long.
He’s not waiting. He can’t. There’s this little blurb in Ephesians we tend to rush over because we think it’s the beginning of a longwinded introduction before our favorite grace-by-faith-and-not-by-works verse, but it’s written to a young church wrestling with a God who seems more patient than they are.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will
He chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Before there was time, God laid out your salvation. Before He ever spoke and said let there be light, He knew you, and knew you’d be saved by Christ. But before God could make us, He had to make time. Let there be light, days, and nights. Let there be time.
Our brains don’t really work without it. We think back in time to Genesis. Worry about tomorrow. Look forward to the last day. But God’s not bound by time. He picks up the whole of creation like a rubik’s cube and works for all at once. Each move affects the whole thing, not just one part. From the “let there be light” to the last trumpet sounding, He works all at once, and for all. He doesn’t have to wait a few thousand years to answer Eve, or return. He is. Not just everywhere. Always.
So when God wills something, It happens, even if we haven’t gotten to the part where we get to see it yet. Before there was time, He chose you. Nothing gets in the way. Nothing can change His mind, and nothing can overpower Him. Revelation tells us before the foundation of the world, the lamb was slain for you. Nothing could stop God’s eternal plan. Even us worrying while we’re stuck in the middle of it.
It isn’t sci fi. It’s realizing that the God who has promised to help isn’t more patient than we are. He’s already worked, and is continuing to do so. He picked up all of creation, all of time and all of space, and reached in, took flesh, and bound Himself to a cross for you. Nothing can change the salvation He worked for you, even if you can’t see how the story ends from where you stand today. We might not see it from down here trapped in time, but the angels already sing at the wedding feast of the lamb.
So God doesn’t just tell you to be more patient. He reaches in and gives you the chance to play outside of time too. He joins us to a feast outside of time, outside of the worries we carry around, and yet for them too. He gives us the Sacrament of the altar. The body and blood of Jesus, the same that died on the cross, shed from the same lamb slain before God ever said let there be light. Communion is a participation in the all atoning sacrifice that brought time to a stop when the sun was blotted from the sky and the Son cried “it is finished”. If that wrinkles your brain, breathe, and recognize that every time you come to communion, you’re already brought through everything you worry about along with everyone who trusted in the same Lord to save.
We worry because we’re trapped in time, but God reaches into it over and over to tie you to a life that even time can’t wear out. A victory that the unknown can’t take away. A hope that endures because God chooses to be with us to carry us through. Lecture each other about being more patient if you want, but recognize God wasn’t patient. He worked your salvation before He even made you. He ties you to the victory even before the last day. If you can’t be patient, realize God can relate, and take communion to be with Him now.