I so badly wanted to meet these little humanoids gestating in her tummy, to watch them squirm and giggle, and even to change their diapers. I was bursting with anticipation, and was pretty antsy by the time the nine months were up.
But try 156 waiting billion months.
According to science’s current best guess, the universe is about 13 billion years old. Multiply that by 12 and that’s the number of months God waited for His children (on this planet, at least) to arrive after He decided to create them.
He sat through the big bang, the unbelievably slow progress of all this spacedust coalescing into stars and planets and nebulae. Then he watched the countless geological ages and eras that got Earth ready for life. Then, finally, the first single-cell organisms appeared. A million lifetimes of a million species followed and finally, the arrival of a bipedal organism with opposable thumbs and the capacity to reason and remember. An animal that could go beyond instinct and stimulus-response and exercise free will. A being who could perceive Him, and love Him back.
Talk about patience.
In clever cartoonish exaggeration, Fred Flintstone paced a hole in the floor of his hospital waiting room while Wilma was giving birth to Pebbles; imagine what it was like for our Father!
Now, I’m sorry if this ruffles your feathers, reader(s). I’m of the belief that the Genesis six-day creation story is poetry, not literal history. (With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. – 2 Peter 3:8) But if you are a literal creationist, I think you can still be wowed by the patience of our God.
After all, He puts up with us, doesn’t He?
Whether humanity’s arrival took six days or 13 billion years, the true miracle of God’s patience is that He hasn’t given up on these people He created, even though we’ve unabashedly, and without exception, squandered and taken for granted that free will, turned our backs on Him and each other and (to put it mildly) fallen well short of our potential.
We’re so far from being the people He created us to be, and He loves us anyway – just as we are.
God is patient.
Peace be with you.