During a morning walk, I thought of a wicked person who has been in power for decades, and I wondered why God had not removed them. God gently reminded, “The Lord does not delay and is not tardy or slow about what He promises, according to some people’s conception of slowness, but He is long-suffering (extraordinarily patient) toward you, not desiring that any should perish, but that all should turn to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9, AMPC, emphasis added).
God also knows that removing someone too early from this earth can hinder others. Jesus told the parable of a farmer who sowed good seed in his field, but an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat. When the plants sprouted and produced grain, then the weeds also appeared. The servants asked the farmer if they should pull out the weeds. The farmer told them to wait because when “you gather up the weeds, you might also uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At harvest time I’ll tell the reapers: Gather the weeds first and tie them in bundles to burn them, but store the wheat in my barn” (Matthew 13:24-30, HCSB).
I asked for the Lord’s forgiveness for my thoughts about that person. I need to trust God even when evil people seem to prosper and evil seems to win. There are more souls at stake than I can conceive. Only God knows a person’s heart and if they will repent and come to Him for salvation.
When Saul was persecuting and murdering Christians, how many prayed for his destruction? How many didn’t understand why God would allow such a horrible man to continue persecuting the early believers? Yet, when Saul became a Christian and became Paul, how many lives have been saved because of Paul’s testimony and writings?
Later, when Paul was on a ship being destroyed by a storm, “the soldiers’ plan was to kill the prisoners, lest any of them should swim away and escape. But the centurion, wanting to save Paul, kept them from their purpose and commanded that those who could swim should jump overboard first and get to land, and the rest, some on boards and some on parts of the ship. And so it was that they all escaped safely to land” (Acts 27:42-43, NKJV, underline added). How many prisoners who were kept from death that day came to know the Lord as Savior? When one is saved, many more may be saved.
Heavenly Father, help me to trust in Your timing and Your ways. Only You know the big picture, the future, and all that is at stake. Thank You that Your tender, gracious, merciful love continues to call to those who are lost. I pray that You would bless that person with salvation and that many would see and also be saved. I ask these things in the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ, who is our Savior. Amen.
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