Green grass. The smell of cut grass and blossoms in the trees. Fresh air after a light rain. Warm sun…actually just sun, I mean sun with blue sky. These are the things you hope and long for after a winter in Upstate or Western New York. But, will summer ever come?
I hear that question from others and it resonates in my heart as I look out my window on March 7th with mounds of snow and hear projections from the weather gurus of a couple more inches tonight, next weekend and beyond. Will summer ever come? Fortunately for us, we have a seasonal track record. Even though we might be a little under the weather blues and become discouraged we do have hope. Our experience tells us that be in end of March or mid-June summer will return with all its splendor.
The question of summer feels a bit like the question that Peter responds to in his second letter to encourage Christian believers. Peter record the question of those who scoff and refuse to believe asking, “Where is the promise of his coming?” (2 Peter 3:4) You see, just like we see signs of winter all around in March and wonder if summer is coming, some look over the world and see signs that lead them to believe nothing every changes. Rich get richer, poor get poorer; bad things happen and often seem worse than ever before; how can Christian claim that Jesus is coming and we are any closer to a glorious day where life is good as God created it and where all things are set right? Where is this promise? Will it ever come?
Peter calls us to God perspective, to patient faith and active hope.
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. 9 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. 10 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. 11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, 12 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? 13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.
It is easy to get lost in the winter. It is easy to be discouraged, depressed, and almost hopeless to see another sunny day of spring or summer warmth and light; but it comes. Today, Peter’s words are a reminder to us across time that despite how it might seem, despite evidence to the contrary, despite our tendency to doubt, to loss hope, and to give up, there is coming a day in which we will inherit with all God’s people, a new heaven and a new earth. This hope has sustained Christians throughout history and can sustain us today. And what a day that will be!